How can you recognize fake online stores?

Bezahlen im Internet

It is easy to end up on the website of dubious online stores when you are looking for good deals on the internet. Their websites are often very well designed or modelled after websites of reputable online stores. This makes it difficult to quickly recognize them. Unfortunately, these stores often sell products of questionable quality or require advance payment while not mailing out the purchased product at all. If they respond to the customer‘s complaints at all, they often explain the latter with unexpected shipping issues.

The owners of these online stores are typically difficult to identify. This makes it very difficult to get your money back. They are often located in a foreign country, which makes the criminal prosection difficult.

Be careful and remember the following tips in order to determine if you can trust an online store.


A dubious online store usually provides little contact information and the identity of the owner is usually not clearly stated.

Publishing information

Dubious online stores usually use fake publishing information. The information is usually incomplete or often not provided at all.


You should check if the URL matches the name of the store or if it is the usual URL. The browser might not display “https://“ with the lock that is associated with reputable online stores.

Payment methods

Fake stores usually list several payment options although usually only prepayment or money transfer.

Customer reviews

If you are not certain, try to search for customer reviews of this online store. The website itself usually only shows very positive reviews.

Order confirmation

The order confirmation will also differ from confirmations provided by reputable stores. They usually contain incomplete and insufficient information.

Realistic prices and product variety

The offered products are usually unbelievably cheap. A selection of a wide variety of single items is also suspicious.

Lists of fake stores

Certain websites list widely known fake stores. You should certainly review these lists.

Browser extensions

Technology can also help you identify dubious online stores. Install a browser extension that can access a large database and uses the information to signal the security of a website with the image of a traffic light.

Lastly: use a different password for each website. If you happen to order a product from a dubious seller, the crook will not be able to gain access to your other accounts.

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