How to Check if a Website Is Legitimate or Reviewed


Due to the increase of Internet fraud and identity theft, consumers are more concerned about reviewing websites that are legitimate. Caution should be exercised when inputting personal information on any site. Criminals have been able to make an exact replica of banking websites and other reputable sites to trick customers into inputting personal information. Knowing what to look for when visiting a website will protect you. Also, work with websites that are well-known.

  • Check the Better Business Bureau online to see if the website has been verified or if any negative reports have been filed against it. The Better Business Bureau allows consumers to rate the legitimacy of a business and file complaints if they feel they were treated unfairly. Businesses are also able to resolve issues with their customers through the Better Business Bureau websites. Businesses are graded A through F based on the number of complaints.

  • Check the terms and conditions of the website at the bottom of the web page. Usually when criminals are copying and replicating websites they do not put as much detail into the terms and conditions because most visitors never read them. Click on any and every link on the site to make sure it is functioning properly and does not have any suspicious wording or information.

  • Check online forums that are used to verify the validity of a website. There are popular websites, such as, where customers may report if they were scammed or had negative experiences with a site. Visit these sites and input the website or business name in question to determine if there were any negative reviews or questions about the company’s legitimacy.

  • Search the Whois database to determine who the domain registrar is for the website. A domain name is the actual web address you type in your browser to reach the website. If you are checking the domain registrar for Sears, for example, most likely you will see Sears' corporate address as the address of the registrar.

  • Visit to determine the traffic statistics for the website in question. If the site is a clone or suspicious, you may see small amounts of traffic that have gone to the site. If the website is a large company, such as Sears or Best Buy, you should see larger numbers of visitors. You can also add the Alexa toolbar to your Internet browser to see instant web statistics.

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