Posted by & filed under IT Purchasing, IT Security.

Trading standards officers have reported that an increasing number of UK consumers are being tricked into buying fake goods by companies pretending to be UK based.

Unfortunately many people think that to have a .co.uk web address you have to be a UK based company but it’s estimated that nearly half a million sites with a .co.uk address are operated from overseas.

Trading standards officer believe the “co.uk” suffix is lulling consumers into a false sense of security. In fact it offers no protection whatsoever, and certainly doesn’t mean the site is operated by a UK company.

You can reduce the risks when selecting companies on line by:

  • Searching for any user reviews of the site;
  • Double clicking on the padlock symbol in the corner to reveal details about the company that registered the site; and
  • Trying to connect the site to the real world by finding phone numbers or UK addresses.
  • Call the telephone number (if there is one) and see who you get to speak – ask a few questions about where they are based

Nominet who is responsible for giving out domain names in the UK has no plans to change the rules for gaining UK web addresses. Basicaly anyone prepared to give their name and address, and pay £5, can buy a co.uk domain name for a two-year period.

So when shopping or choosing any service on line, do your homework and stay safe.