Fake shop finder: free tool checks web shops and warns of scammers

From now on you can use a free online tool from the consumer protection agency to check whether online shops are reputable. That’s how it’s done.

The North Rhine-Westphalia consumer advice center has put a fake shop finder online here. Operation is extremely simple: You enter the web address of the online shop that you want to have checked into the online input field. The tool then calculates for a few seconds.

On the results page that then appears, you can see the detailed analysis of the checked web shop. The most important thing is at the top: A sentence and a traffic light display let you know immediately whether the shop poses a risk. “No signs of a fake shop found” and a green dot indicate: no danger.

Below this is the detailed justification for the assessment. So whether the shop has previously attracted negative attention or whether it has an imprint – you can also display this immediately. In addition, address and telephone number as well as the sales tax ID, which is also checked. The result page also displays any existing Twitter and Facebook profiles. There is also information about the domain.

This is how the fake shop finder works

Consumer advocates describe how it works as follows: ”

Using artificial intelligence, the fake shop finder constantly searches for fake shops on the internet. The backbone of the Fakeshop-Finder is a growing domain database. If consumers enter an address that is not yet in the database, they look up the entered address and scan the page for features that are very often found in dubious shops. This can be a missing imprint, a sales tax ID that does not exist, but also technical, linguistic and structural features that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The fake shop finder also knows public lists of known fake shops.

From these criteria, the application calculates the probability of whether the address entered is from a dubious provider. After a few seconds, the result is displayed in the form of a traffic light: red if there is a clear warning, yellow as a reminder to take a closer look before ordering, and green if everything is in order. The project is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The consumer advocates emphasize that this fake shop finder is an automatic check that looks for known anomalies. However, the tool cannot perform an individual check of the shop addresses entered by an employee.

Using the Fakeshop Finder is free.

Police: How to recognize fraudulent fake shops

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