Phony webshops enjoy good ratings on Trustpilot
Good ratings on the review site Trustpilot does not guarantee a safe or genuine webshop. This is the conclusion of a recent survey of websites that are suspected of fraud, some of which have already been charged by the police.
Some of these sites were once genuine websites, that have never the less kept their ratings on Trustpilot, even though the actual domains have been taken over by fraudsters.
As such there are active .DK domains with high ratings on Trustpilot, that display notable signs of fraud. According to the Danish Fraud Squad, it is easy to set up fraudulent websites, as verification of foreign registrants is not a requirement.
According to advisor Henrik Bjørner from the consultancy firm EIT, Danish domains are often re-registered by residents of China within a few hours of their expiration. Shortly thereafter, a webshop is set up on the domain, advertising cheap brand name goods such as Ray-Ban and Nike. In this way, Bjørner says, the fraudsters can exploit the reputation enjoyed by the former owners of the domain. He has discovered that around 30 out of 581 domains seized by the authorities have maintained their good reviews, which he considers a major problem for Trustpilot, who ought to do a better job of tracking the reviewed domains.
A spokesperson for Trustpilot agrees that it is unacceptable, but also notes that more than 130,000 domains have been reviewed on Trustpilot, and that only very few are exploiting the situation.