I was looking into getting some ebooks so I googled around a bit and something came up that was offering a nice deal. In fact, it was so nice that a little warning indicator popped up in my brain. It was looking a bit too good to be true, you know, the typical signs of a scam: if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
Then I read the conditions and apparently you had to pay upfront before you could buy a book. Hmm. More warnings popped up.
So how do you determine if a site is a scam? Well, googling the name might help and turn up some warnings. But it didn’t in my case. That search however did turn up one thing by chance. A site that calculates the ranking of this ebook scam site gave me links to similar sites. When I opened one of them, it turned it had the same layout. In fact, it was a clone of the original site hosted on a different domain.
The result? Google turned up a huge list of sites hosting the exact same content under a ton of different domains, sometimes with a different layout theme or logo. But plain copies none the less.
Picture by Alex Abian, cc-licensed.