Because anyone can post anything online, it can be hard to know if a company you’re thinking about working with our purchasing something from is legitimate. But if you’re going to be giving them your personal information, including things like your sensitive data or financial numbers, you want to be certain that you can trust them.
To show you how you can successfully vet all types of businesses, here are three tips for researching a company or product’s legitimacy online.
Learn About The People Behind The Business
In order for a business to be successful, it has to have actual people running it. With this in mind, you should be able to find out about the people behind a business if it’s a legitimate and successful enterprise.
According to Indeed.com, the best place to start is with the “About Us” page on their website. This page should show you who’s part of the company, what they do, and what their professional background is. Additionally, you should be able to easily find their contact information and reach out to them personally. If you can’t, you might be looking at a business that isn’t legitimate and should be very careful with trusting them with your personal information or ordering a product or service from them.
Check Reviews and Survey Results
If you’re considering working with or purchasing from a business that you’ve never interacted with before, you can check reviews and information from surveys to see what their track record has been like with others who’ve been patrons in the past.
When looking at online reviews and survey results, you want to be on the lookout for fake reviews. To help you spot some of these fake reviews, Hillary Hoffower, a contributor to Business Insider, shares that you should look for a high number of reviews that have been posted within just a few days of each other. In addition to this, you should also look for reviews with misspelled words or similar wording between multiple reviews. If you spot any of these things, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at fake reviews.
Scout Out Their Social Media Channels
Another area online that you should look into before trusting a new or unheard of business in order to determine their legitimacy is their social media channels.
Lili Zhang, a contributor to The Muse, recommends that you look through their posts and feed to see how they interact with others online. If their interactions look like they’re coming from an actual person and they respond to complaints, this is a good sign that the company is legitimate.
If you’re unsure if a company you found online is legitimate, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you make this determination.