Monday 06 July 2020

Detection tool helped spot 4,300 fake webshops last year

Dutch internet domain registry SIDN removed some 4,300 fake online retailers from the internet last year, the agency said on Monday.

SIDN which administers the .nl country code, said a ‘large number’ of the fake stores had been detected using its own automated tools to scan new domain registrations.

The time the registration was made and the email address used to make the registration are two of the markers which are used in the scan. Some 80% of fake webshops are also re-registrations of a name used earlier by a scammer.

Suspect websites identified by the tools are then checked by hand and the tools have been found to have a 79% success rate. The tools are self learning, a key factor given the speed at which fake websites are developing.

‘Long page titles listing all sorts of luxury items were earlier noted to be a strong indicator of a fake webshop,’ said SIDN reseach engineer Thymen Wabeke. ‘But as soon as the fake shop owners realised our tool was picking them out, the long titles started to disappear.’

The organisation says consumers should always check if a domain name fits the website contents, if the shop is registered at the chamber of trade and if the Dutch text is correct.

‘And if the price is too good to be true, that is often the case,’ SIDN director Roelof Meijer said.

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