Business Government

10 Ways to Check if a Website is Scam or Legit

Don't be persuaded too easily to spend your hard earned money! Follow these steps as part of your due diligence.

So many people are getting scammed these days, not just because of the explosion of scamming schemes in various forms but also because we forget to do some due diligence before proceeding.

Here are ten ways to check if a website is a scam or legitimate.

1. Check if the Website is Secure

You will need to check the URL or address of the website has an “s” after “http”. The “s” or the “https” would mean the website has some form of secured encryption employed in the processing of data. This does not mean a 100% safe site but is a basic security provision. There would still be some scam websites using a secured encryption so its best not to stop here.

2. Check the Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation of Words

An easy giveaway to a potentially hazardous and un-secure website would be if its words and statements come in broken english and/or poorly spelled our constructed sentences. Errors would usually mean haste in building the website or it wasn’t professionally done.

3. Check the Contact Page Details

By visiting the “Contact”, “Contact Us”, or even the “About” pages of the website you will be able to appraise whether the website has some form of physical location attached to its existence. If this is present, you can proceed to do further verifications on the physical location with Google Maps.

You would also want to ensure there are multiple ways to contact the website and/or its administrators should there be any issue. An email, contact number, address, and social media links are basic contact information for any legitimate enterprise.

4. Scrutinize the Website’s Privacy Policy and Terms

Legitimate websites are required to have a Privacy Policy and Terms visible and accessible by the public. Don’t be daunted by its lengthy write-up but take the opportunity to read through it so further check can be done on the website’s legal identity, contact options, and basic what-to-do’s given specific circumstances (e.g. refund, claiming, etc.).

If there is no Privacy Policy and/or Terms, or there are blank items in these pages, it should already be red flags for you.

5. Cross-check with Social Media Pages

While checking the website, check the various social media presences of the company in facebook, instagram, twitter, and LinkedIn. A simple search of the website or company name will often times yield various reviews and posts from other people. This can instantly give you an idea whether the website product or service is legit and you can make a more informed decision.

6. Do a Basic Google Search

Yes, by doing a basic search in Google to the sound of “Is XXXX a scam?”, where XXXX is the name of the suspicious website name product/service, you will be able to see various posts in other websites that can help determine if it is indeed a scam.

Results from Quora often times come up if others have already suspected the website in the past.

7. Do a WHOIS Lookup

By doing a “WHOIS” search of the website address, you’d be able to get information on the website including who the domain name (website address) is registered to, where they are, and how long the website has been active. If the website was created fairly recently you could surmise it was done hastily and for the purpose of scamming the public.

A WHOIS Lookup or search is free. You can use one like this from DomainTools at

8. Use Free Online Scam Checking Tools

Run the website address or URL with the following free online checkers:

9. Check with SEC

Check the Philippines’ Security and Exchange Commision (SEC) Advisories page to see if the website has already been flagged as an illegal investment scheme or a scam. You can go further by contacting them directly through their website at or contacting their hotline at 02-8818-0921.

10. Ask Questions and Be Smart

Finally, you can always make sure to ask questions from whomever is referring you to take-up a scam offer through a website. Often times, if you they are hesitant to answer specific information or are “psyching you up” by persuading you with appeals to emotion or guilt tripping, you shouldn’t proceed. Knowledge is power and if you do the due diligence of ensuring the safety of any investment you’d save yourself from any scam.

Leave a Comment