The current energy crises has seen a boom in fake shops, for instance offering cheap firewood or energy-saving devices. You should therefore be very careful and closely check your seller before you buy anything!
Criminals often exploit any kind of crisis to get rich quick. The same applies to our current energy crisis. Fraudster open fake shops, trying to tempt their victims with cheap prices. They know that many a consumer is looking for alternatives now prices are continuously rising and gas is expected to become a scarce resource. Firewood and devices supposed to save on energy costs are affected the same way.
This is how to recognise a fake shop:
- Is the price too good to be true? Fake shop prices are often particularly low to attract potential victims.
- Can you only pay in advance? If possible, always order your goods on account and don’t pay in advance. Otherwise there is a risk that you never receive your goods and lose your money.
- Is it easy to find contact details such as address, e-mail address and a telephone number, and do they look authentic? Reputable providers have no reason to hide such information.
- Where is the company based? We recommend checking the address provided in the Legal Notice section with the help of a search engine. Alternatively, you can also use the shabex to do so.
- Is it easy to find their Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), and do they look plausible? If you cannot find any T&Cs, there is a high chance this is a fake shop.
- Is there a secure connection to the online shop? Regardless of the online shop you use, please note the following: Always make sure that all data (in particular all passwords and credit card details) are transmitted in encrypted form. You can read up on how to recognise a secure connection here.
- Is this website listed on the Watchlist? Most fake shops are listed on the “Internet Watchlist“.
Further information can also be found on the Wegweiser Online-Shopping (online shopping guide) by the Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft SECO.
Further information on the subject of phishing can be found here.