Every minute, hour and day of the week people are being deceived by unscrupulous scammers all over the world.
Consumers are shifting their buying habits to the online world, and scammers are moving there too. With the eCommerce economy now worth billions it is fertile ground for would-be scammers to prey on consumers.
A common story, which you will have heard before, starts with a buyer being lured into an online store that offers discount prices cheaper than wholesale. The store looks professional and legitimate. It has credit card logos and the staff seem friendly enough. But when you pay, you never receive the goods or service promised. You’ve been scammed!
The story continues... you kick up a storm, threatening them with legal action, higher authorities and inundating social media with negative comments. All to no avail. The scammer shuts the website and disappears into the Internet. As far as you know that’s the end of the story. But it’s not the end of the scammer’s story!
Did you know that the scammer is able to rebuild the same scam website, but in a new location/ with a new domain name? It is easy and cheap to ‘copy and paste’ his old scam site into a new disguise, new name and with new victims. He’s in business again, scamming more people just like you.
Scammers leave tracks.
Verify1st.com is the first service of its kind that helps you associate scammers with their new, so-far, undetected scams. Use it to verify the reputation of a website, before you hand over your credit card.
Verify1st before you buy online.
Verify1st uncovers hidden relationships between websites, tracking scammers as they move onto their next project. If you’re about to buy online then check the site’s reputation and overall sentiment first. It could save you money.
Have you been scammed?
There are hundreds of resource and information websites available for you to lodge your scam complaints. We don’t collect scam complaints ourselves, but suggest that you visit the following sites:
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About the Founders
Katrina McKinnon, Founder
Community Service and Business Development
I initially started my career building eCommerce sites for large-scale enterprise, and then extended our business service over the years to take on more small and medium size businesses. All eCommerce clients had one thing in common - they wanted to establish a good reputation for taking care of their customers and selling a good quality product. They knew that maintaining a good online reputation was essential for growing their business.
But you can fake a good reputation! It is easy to create an eCommerce store that looks professional, trustworthy, reputable and honest. It’s easy to add trust badges, security symbols and fake customer testimonials. It’s easy to take people’s money, if you know how and you’re daring enough.
Fast forward to today, some 15 years later. Despite being a long-term developer of eCommerce stores I rarely shop online. I know how easy it is for an online shop to defraud my credit card details, or not offer a return guarantee and even how easy it is for them to take my money and not send the product. I don’t regularly shop online, because I don’t fully trust the stores. What to do? Build a tool that I can trust to give me a complete picture of a scammer’s tracks on the Internet. I can now answer my own question “How likely am I to be scammed by this website?” and feel reassured by the answers in the data.
In the future I hope to be able to regularly shop online, taking advantage of the available savings and the convenience that eCommerce offers, but with confidence. You can follow my journey on http://community.verify1st.com
Luke Metcalfe, Founder
Development Team Leader and Business Development
My team and I have a passion for web mining and indexing the lesser known corners of the Internet. Previously, we’ve worked on some fascinating data projects from corporate spam filters to stock market prediction algorithms.
I want to ensure that Verify1st is clean and simple for our customers to use, but harnesses the power of the back-end technology and infrastructure we’ve developed as Web Miners since 2003.
It’s no trivial project to crawl and fingerprint millions of websites - so far we’ve crawled and indexed the top 18 million sites and processed 100s of millions of pages.
We have a server farm dedicated to regular crawling, and we’re primed to scale Verify1st even further in the future. This ensures our data is always kept up to date and we’re able to track scammers as they build more websites on the Internet.
I believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things, but our world is getting ever more complex and is changing faster and faster every day. So they need tools that are on their side. Verify1st has a role to play here, taking the complex web of relationships on the Internet and breaking it down for ordinary people. We collect huge swathes of data from the Internet, correlate the facts and figures, and convert it into meaningful insights for average punters. Our mission is to mine the web to generate timely, actionable insights for consumers. More broadly, to give people buying online the information they need to determine the positive or negative reputation of an online store. We believe that transparent eCommerce practices lead to better service and more choice for consumers.
Our intention is to create unique, valuable, actionable content that consumers can use to determine whether they ought to buy online from a particular seller, or not.
Why use Verify1st?
I’m about to buy online, but feel nervous about the safety of my transaction.
Verify1st performs a background check on websites. We help consumers decide whether the seller has a good or bad reputation, and whether they are linked to any known scam sites.
Is this an old scam in a new disguise?
Verify1st uncovers hidden relationships between websites. Consumers can track whether the site is the same scam, but with a new design and content.
Can I trust this site with my credit card number? Will they actually send me what I have paid for?
Verify1st provides comments from real-world customers, but from third-party sources who have previously dealt with the online seller.
Sellers fake their customer testimonials to make themselves look reliable.
So don’t just rely on one point-of-view or even just one opinion. Verify1st pulls together many different reliable sources of data, facts, figures, opinions and content to create a COMPLETE picture of trust for consumers.