Shopping online is much more convenient, but many people have fallen victim to online fraud and scams. Scams are when companies make it seem like they are selling real products but are actually selling some dummy products. This blog will go over different ways to detect real products from scams when shopping online.

Whether it’s a jumpsuit, expensive workout equipment, or vegetable seeds for your garden, purchasing things online necessitates a completely different set of abilities. You must be able to differentiate between genuine five-star evaluations and sponsored reviews, read between the lines of information offered by tech businesses, and even be willing to go down a rabbit hole with a reverse image search.

Here’s how to recognize warning signs that a brand isn’t what it claims to be, whether on Amazon, Walmart, Google, Facebook, or Instagram.

An influx of unknown products has rendered internet buying impossible.

1. Search for the website, a presence on social media, and contact information

Outside of the first ad or listing you encounter, look for any evidence that the company exists. A dedicated website is an excellent place to start, but these may also be built on a budget using tools like Shopify and WordPress. Scroll to the bottom of the front page and check the footer for contact information to discover whether it’s a template. Look for a page titled “About Us.” It’s a good sign if it sounds unique and mentions any founders or workers. Most will include an email address, but look for additional contact information, such as an address and a phone number. The more easily accessible they are, the better.

Following that, look for any social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. It’s not uncommon for new legitimate brands to begin with social media before launching a full website.

“Especially in fashion and beauty, a lack of social media presence might be a red flag.

2. Look into the company’s history and what else it sells

Tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, have begun to provide more information to help customers recognize a suspect brand, such as how long it has been in business. Continue your study if you see a brand has only had its URL or social media pages for two years or less.

Using Google: To access the “About this result” section, search for the firm and click the three vertical dots adjacent to its main homepage result. You should be able to see when the website was initially indexed.

have been around longer are more likely to be legitimate.

Go to the company’s profile page on Facebook and scroll down to the “Page transparency” section. You’ll notice the date it was created as well as any name modifications. Look for multiple or unexpected name changes, such as Coffee Pot Spot to Leggings Emporium. You can also check where countries the moderators of the website are from.

Look for the brand’s landing page on Amazon. To get there, click on the seller’s name, which should be displayed as a blue link beneath the product name or next to the words “Sold by.” Check to see if it’s a fully fleshed-out brand page (which seems promising) or just a list of other search results (less promising). While you’re here, check out what else it has to offer.

If it seems entirely random — socks, an exercise bike, hamster wheels — that’s a sign it’s just moving whatever cheap products it thinks people will buy.

On Walmart, look for the company name that says “sold and shipped by” and click on it. Check to see if there is a brand page and what else they sell. Look up the phone number and address, if they are listed.

Understand when something is too cheap.

A plastic salad spinner may be purchased online for less than $5. While it may be perfectly competent for drying lettuce for years to come, if it is substantially less expensive than brand-name spinners (about $30), it is likely to fall apart sooner. This is more important for some products than others. While a cheap spinner is likely to go in circles, anything you eat, such as vitamins or machines that could damage you, such as a treadmill, should be avoided.

3. Locate the physical location of the company’s headquarters

If the company has a physical address, look it up on Google Maps. Because the address isn’t often displayed alongside the contact information, check any return policies to see if there’s a mailing address buried in there. To get the street view, copy & paste the address into Google Maps.

You should be able to trace a physical location to the business

Is it a haunted-looking structure in an abandoned strip mall with no visible brand signage? Only one strike. Random residential dwellings might also be a warning sign. That’s not to imply that some legitimate small businesses don’t operate out of houses or unmarked buildings; instead, consider this one of many data factors when making your judgment.

4. Look up the business name with that state if it has a Ghana location

Some businesses will state where they are “based” on their profile pages or Shopify sites but will not provide an address. If they list a Ghana. location, go to the website of that state’s secretary of state and search for “business entity.” If they are registered, they should have an address and a name. You can look up the person’s name on Google to check whether they have a LinkedIn profile or other indications of becoming an entrepreneur.

5.Relearn yourself how to read reviews and comments

Don’t base your decision on the average review rating on e-commerce sites. Instead, take a closer look. A high number of five-star reviews on Amazon may indicate that the corporation paid for them and utilized a review service to boost its product to the top of the search results.

Look for a company’s one- and two-star evaluations, which might reveal a lot about the products (sometimes they can even reassure you a product is real). Keep an eye out for reviews that use similar wording or sound like they’re for a completely different product. Finally, check at the date of the most recent review to see if the listing had a huge number of reviews in an unusually short period of time.

Don’t just trust an average review rating online. Look closely for signs a brand’s reviews are real, like these customer photos of dogs in costumes.

6. Read the guarantees and return policies

A big-ticket item with a 30-day warranty should stop you in your tracks. Something that costs more than a few hundred dollars should come with a much longer warranty, such as a year or more. Find a return policy and know your options if the product is defective. Watch out for products where you’ll have to pay for return shipping, that only have a short return window or that ask you to mail it back overseas.

7. Conduct a traditional web search

Enter the brand’s name into a search engine to check if any sites come up that identify it as a scam. Then enter the company name into the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, or even Reddit. If there are no results anywhere, it could be a clue that the site is not safe to buy from. Look for other purchasers who are blogging or using social media to share their own experiences. Michele Eilertsen’s blog Written With Love has a running list of scam brands she’s encountered or those readers have reported.

“I’ve reported hundreds of scam stores to [Facebook and Instagram] over the years, and 99 percent of the time, these concerns are ignored or get no response.”

8. Perform a reverse image search

Take a screenshot or collect the URL for one of the site’s photographs, preferably a product shot. Enter it into the search box at Check to see if the identical photo appears for other companies or listings, or if it is simply stock imagery. (These are sometimes offered by wholesale companies to buying and reselling goods, but they can also be stolen from mainstream brands.) Images that have been lifted are a significant red flag.

9. Know when to buy name brands and when to shop in genuine stores

As a general guideline, don’t buy anything that goes into your body (food, supplements, pacifiers) or that could be dangerous (car seats, replacement batteries) from third-party merchants. You don’t have to limit your online purchasing to Amazon, Google, or Walmart. When in doubt, go with a traditional retailer. Trust stores that still choose and stock their own merchandise and have actual locations where you can see the quality for yourself. When possible, try to buy well-known brands, but be cautious when purchasing them from third-party marketplaces. It’s easy to end up with substandard returns or models from last year.

10 .Report any negative experiences

If you’ve already purchased something and been burned, you can strive to spare others from the same fate. Post about your experience on Reddit or social media, or leave a review on Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau. You can notify the firms directly by phoning Amazon, Walmart, or Shopify customer support, but they are unlikely to take action unless there is a safety risk or a clearly defective goods.


As the popularity of e-commerce has grown, so has the amount of fake products on the market. It’s important to know what to look for to avoid being scammed by fake sellers. We hope this blog post has helped you learn how to detect real products from scams when shopping online. If you have any other questions or concerns about buying products online, please contact us anytime.Thank you for reading, we are always excited when one of our posts is able to provide useful information on a topic like this!