Fraudsters are setting up fake web shops that look genuine and professional. So think twice when you spot must-haves for rock-bottom prices.
The golden rule is: if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want to be absolutely sure that you’re dealing with a reliable web shop, then follow the following tips:
Check who you’re dealing with
- It’s always sensible to google a company. You may hit some customer feedback that will give you some idea as to how the shop operates.
- Its website will show you whether the company is registered with the Chamber of Commerce. This registration numbers should be included in the contact details.
- Check where the company is located and whether it can be reached by telephone.
- What is its return policy? If it doesn’t seem to have any, you’d better hop to another shop.
- Bigger shops will allow you to use a pre-printed bank giro credit slip. This means you’ll pay after your order has been delivered. And you’re sure not to lose your money.
Check the trustmark
- Find out whether your online retailer is on the list of TrustMark accredited members. Check the membership list of Thuiswinkel.org, the sector organisation for online retailing in the Netherlands.
- If the website displays a Thuiswinkel.org logo, then verify whether the shop is affiliated with the organisation. Clicking on the Thuiswinkel Waarborg logo will lead consumers to the Thuiswinkel Waarborg Certificate. Please note that the URL is a secure, SSL-encrypted connection which begins with https://beheer
Do a scan on ConsuWijzer
ConsuWijzer, the Dutch government’s consumer information desk, offers an Online ShopScan, a practical tool which indicates the level of consumer trust in a particular e-commerce retailer. Here you can find specific consumer ratings.
On Mijnpolitie.nl, you can check whether consumers have reported a certain company. It offers a tool which can detemine, on the basis of bank account details, telephone numbers and web addresses, whether you’re dealing with a trustworthy or with a suspect retailer. Set up by Dutch police, the site has a link to a forum that offers help to people buying and selling online.