Fake sites, dropshipping, non-matching products…: our tips to avoid online scams

Before ordering, look for legal notices of the site (name, company name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, etc.), which are generally in the general conditions of sale. They should be provided to you: if you do not find them, run away, it is most likely a scam.

Next, check the e-reputation of the site you are on. To do this, for example, you can type the name of the site in a search engine accompanied by the words “review” or “cheat”. This will allow you to find out the overall rating of the site, according to customer reviews. To make sure that the seller has not left only positive reviews on his site, multiply the sources in which you find your reviews.

> Dropshipping

It’s not illegal, but it doesn’t matter. no less sometimes a little dishonest. ” Dropshipping or dropshipping is an online sale in which the seller is solely responsible for marketing and selling the product. “, the government recalls in its guide. The supplier takes care of sending the goods directly to the final consumer.

Dropshipping allows sellers to enter the business without having to invest much. The process is perfectly legal, but beware of the astronomical margins. This type of product is often presented by influencers, with very attractive promotional codes, which sometimes allow you to split the markup by two (or more).

When you see very attractive offers, with monstrous promotions, on products sold on sites you do not know, beware of dropshipping. A quick Google search will show if the product is also for sale on other sites, such as Aliexpress, for much less. If that’s the case (and Aliexpress hasn’t posted a fake), it’s most likely dropshipping and you might feel ripped off if you pay 10 times more.

Additionally, be aware that, if you buy from a dropshipping site, “ the seller remains fully responsible for the proper execution of the order placed by the consumer even if he is not responsible for shipping. ” As with any sale, the seller must ensure that they are offering legal, compliant and non-dangerous products. He must also comply with the rules of the consumer code applicable to distance sales, in particular with regard to pre-contractual information for the consumer and not apply unfair commercial practices. “, specifies the government.

> Non-matching products

When ordering online, pay attention to the product description. Ask for as much information as possible, don’t be satisfied with the photo and read the product description carefully. ” If the description is unclear, continue. “, writes the government guide.

Also check out the reviews left by customers, and especially the photos. Don’t take everything at face value though, some sellers may leave false positive reviews on their site.

If the product is sold by several resellers, compare the sellers and buy from the most popular/the one you think is the most reliable.

Beware, too, of fake miracle products. ” Do not be fooled by false promises “, writes the government’s anti-fraud guide, which gives as an example the emergence of “miracle products” linked to Covid-19, such as ultraviolet lamps capable of purifying the air or sterilizing masks. That is not the point. Do your research online before falling for a supposed miracle product.

> Fake promo

Beware of fake promotions! For some sites, “real fake promotions” are a marketing technique like any other. On some clothing sites, we sometimes find a banner showing a huge discount, for example “minus 40% off the entire site”, to make you think that the promotion is limited and induce you to buy. In reality, we quickly realize that on some sites, promotions like these are everyday and we just want you to spend money.

Some sites use very aggressive marketing to influence your buying behavior by inducing a sense of urgency and speeding up your decision. “, writes the government guide, which cites, in addition to “flash offers”, the display of the number of customers on the product page, or the stock of remaining products. ” Even if an offer is very attractive, take time to reflect and compare “, the government recalls.

> Right of withdrawal

If you shop online, know this you have the right to a withdrawal period 14 days to change your mind. As remembered website service-public.fr
:” This period concerns the cases of purchases on the Internet, by telephone or by mail (sales through printed catalogs received by La Poste) or by fax. If you exercise this right, the seller must reimburse you for the goods or services ordered. “.


However, note that some purchases are not affected, such as made-to-order or personalized goods, goods that have been opened and cannot be returned for reasons of hygiene or health protection (sealed cosmetics, underwear sold in bags closed … ), or CDs, DVDs or computer software that have been opened… The complete list is available on the website service-public.fr

> Attempt to defraud or defraud

If you are the victim of a deceptive business practice online, you can report it on the DGCCRF website. If you are the victim of a scam or an attempted scam, you can report their scams on the PHAROS platform. ” This platform, managed by the national police and the national gendarmerie, makes it possible in particular to report websites whose content is illegal. “, the government recalls in its guide.

Finally, lots of resources are available on the website of the Ministry of Economy in its “cheat info” section.

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