How to spot a fake website. (Photo/Courtesy)

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has been on the front line to educate Kenyans on how to stay safe while on the internet. On Tuesday, the DCI reiterated how fraudsters are scamming innocent Kenyans. One way scammers con people online is by using fake websites to get hold of personal information.

According to researchers at Webroot on the analysis of phishing websites, 1.4 million unique phishing websites were created during the first half of 2017. To avoid getting scammed online, here are a few tips on how to spot a fake website according to the DCI.

Browse the website - Take a couple of minutes to double-check the site. Check that the website lists any contact information. Reputable and legitimate companies will always list ways to get in touch with them.

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Double-check the domain name - A lot of fraudulent websites will use a domain name that references a well-known brand or product name. But won't be the official website. You should also be cautious of domains that end in .net or .org, as they are rarely used for online shopping so may have been acquired by questionable organizations.

Look for the HTTPS - Legitimate websites have to have the HTTPS protocol, which is reflected in their web address, as opposed to just http://, where the ‘s’ stands for secure.

Trust marks - Just because a website appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organization, it still doesn’t necessarily mean the website is genuine. If you’re in doubt, you could always contact the trust-mark company to check.

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Check for Ads- If a company has too many ads and popups, it’s likely a scam.

Check return policy - If the company is selling a product online, it should have a shipping and returns policy listed on its website. If it’s a real company, it should tell you how and where to return a faulty item.

Kenyans are advised to report any cybercrime incident or activity to [email protected] and also at the nearest Police station.