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Shop online securely: How do you avoid the trap of fake shops?

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Do you want to read this text in Polish? You can read it here. 

Have you accidentally discovered super cheap shoes or luxurious furniture while surfing the Internet and would you like to order such products? You have to be especially careful when doing so. There are also dubious dealers on the Internet who only want to cheat you.

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How do fake shops work in practice?

These examples show how fake shops deal with their customers:

Mr. Y finds branded shoes at half price on a website. Since he does not want to miss such a unique bargain, he orders the product immediately and transfers the money. When he still has not received a delivery even after two weeks, he tries to contact the seller. But unfortunately: The website merely has a contact form and no details of the seller. He never received a reply. 

Ms. X is redecorating her apartment. While searching for lamps and chairs, she discovers a website with "Made in Germany" high-quality products at a low price. One week after placing the order and transferring money, the furniture items are delivered. But they differ considerably from the products offered in the online shop: Their quality is bad and they are made in China.
Nobody responds to the consumer's complaints. Even this website only has a contact form and no information about the dealer.
 

How do I recognise a fake shop?

Fake shops can be recognised by the following typical signs:

Unusually low prices

The rip-off artists usually advertise with exceptionally cheap prices, which are considerably below the market price. You should definitely be more careful regarding such online shops.

No imprint

Many fake shops have either no imprint on the website or an imprint with incomplete information about the company. The imprint (legal information) should contain the complete address, an e-mail address, the number in the commercial register as well as the name of the authorised representative.

Here you will find further information and a theme-related interaktive grafik.

Our tip: Check whether the website of the online shop contains the correct imprint!

AGB and data protection declaration as a deception

Many fraudsters try to cover up their dubious business by publishing AGB (general terms and conditions) and a data protection declaration on their website. These are often only the regulations copied from other websites or poorly translated texts that do not include the name of the data manager, for example.

Eye-catching graphic design and address of the website

Fake shops often have an eye-catching graphic design, e.g. with fake/counterfeit quality seals and a strange web address. At first glance, they seem to offer many payment options. But at the time of payment, it turns out that the so-called "advance payment (Vorkasse)" is the only payment option. 

What can you if you fall prey to fake shops?

Have you fallen for a fraudulent online shop? If your answer is yes, you should immediately file a criminal complaint with the police. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to get the money back. 

Are you facing problems with an online merchant or have you fallen into the trap of fake shops? You can report your case to us in our complaint box