Getting scammed is, unfortunately, becoming more and more common lately. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 2 million fraud reports in 2020 alone.
While scammers are becoming savvier, the good news is that there are things you can do to help protect yourself from being the victim of fraud. One of the best things you can do, for example, is to only work with and purchase from trustworthy companies.
But, how do you know if a company is legitimate? We’re here to help.
Read this quick guide which will give you tips on how to verify if a company is real or a scam.
Research Their Online Presence
The first thing you can do is check out their online presence to see if it looks legitimate. You can start by looking at their website. Company websites should have contact information, at a minimum, that can help you verify if they seem trustworthy. From there, check the address bar to make sure a lock symbol shows, confirming that the site is secure.
Additionally, glance through the content on the website to make sure it is well-written and free of typos. Scam companies often have poor grammar and spelling on their site.
Finally, do a search about the company as a whole to see if other people are talking about being scammed by them. For example, JG Wentworth has several complaints lodged against them, which could be a red flag.
Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Another good online resource for legitimacy is the BBB. You can look up any company on the BBB website to check its rating and view any complaints filed against it.
The BBB gives out company ratings ranging from A+ to F, which can give you a good idea of how a company operates. If the company isn’t listed on the BBB website, this could be another red flag that they’re not legitimate.
Check the Company’s EIN Status
Did you know that just like people have social security numbers, businesses also have identification numbers? This is called an employer identification number or EIN.
You can do an EIN search to learn more about a company to help verify whether or not it’s legitimate. If the company you’re researching doesn’t have an EIN, this is one of the biggest signs that it’s not trustworthy. In this case, it’s best to avoid the company at all costs.
Check for Secure Payment Methods
Finally, check to see how a company accepts payments to help determine its legitimacy. Even companies that accept cash will often have other, more secure methods of payment, especially on their website. This can include options like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and more.
If a company doesn’t offer any secure payment options, then it’s best not to give them your money.
Verify That a Company Is Legitimate
Now that you’ve read through this quick guide, we hope you have a better idea of how to verify that a company is trustworthy. Use these tips anytime you’re thinking of working with or purchasing from a new company to make sure you’re not at risk of being scammed.
Looking for more content like this? Be sure to browse through our other articles before you go.