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Phishing and the energy crisis

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.

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