The internet has changed the way we live. You can now shop, date, study, work and interact without leaving the comfort of your living room, which is great – although we have to mention that we recommend you get out of your yoga pants and get some fresh air at least once a week, just for sanity’s sake.

The flipside of the coin is that we have gotten used to doing business with people without having as much as laid an eye on them or their business premises. While this is undoubtedly convenient, it also leaves us as consumers pretty vulnerable to unscrupulous chancers who prey on the good faith of the friendly folks in the online realm.

Having an inkling that a company you are considering doing business with is not all that they claim to be? Trust your instincts – there are a few ways you could test your hypothesis.


  1. Check out their social media links

If a company seems fishy, the easiest way of determining whether you are being a wee bit paranoid is to check out their social media links. If there are Facebook, Twitter and other social media icons on their website, click through to make sure it links to a legitimate account. Often a fraudulent company will simply link to, rather than a proper company page. But even if they do have a company page, you should be able to gauge from the type and amount of content whether they are legit – a fake business is not likely to spend much time creating and maintaining engaging social media strategies.

  1. Take a closer look at the images on their site

If the images on a website aren’t properly sized, seem low res or show watermarks, chances are you are dealing with swindler. A legitimate business would never stoop that low. The same goes for the language on the site – if there are a lot of spelling/grammatical errors or the content reads like something cooked up by a translation bot, chances are it probably was. Steer clear.

  1. Really read the endorsements & customer reviews

Use your head when reading endorsements and customer reviews. Yes, it make sense to put your best foot forward online, but if the glowing reviews all have a similar style or a big endorsement by a well-known company seems out of place, it probably is. Not sure if you believe that a relatively new business is already the darling of your local commerce chambers? Call them up to corroborate.

  1. Get a brick & mortar view

If you want to go full Sherlock you could also look up their address on Google Street View just to make sure their business premises is not a complete fabrication. If you’re still not sure, see if you can spot another business premises in the same vicinity and give them a call to find out if they know anything about the company you are trying to vet.

Now that you know what to look out for when vetting a business online, it should become clear that a lack of social media presence could potentially hurt your own business in the digital scheme of things. What would a potential customer find if they were to put you through paces we suggested in this post? Would your business stand up to scrutiny if someone were to have a proper look at your website and really read your social media pages?

If often helps to think like a paranoid consumer when you evaluate the efficiency of your online presence. Not sure whether your digital strategy (or lack thereof) is doing more harm than good? Get in touch so we can talk you through it.