There is no doubt that online shopping is increasing in popularity. According to Statistics Norway, a total of NOK 75 billion was traded online with Norwegian bank cards in the first quarter of 2023. This is an increase of 17 percent compared to the previous year 1:
Payment with Norwegian bank cards online
The large sums make online shopping attractive for fraud attempts. Figures from the police's criminal case register show that the number of reports of economic crime increased by just over 14 per cent from 2021 to 2022, an increase which is largely due to online fraud 2. The fraudsters are becoming more professional, and it has become more difficult to expose the fake websites. In the past, bad language and strange logos were clear signs of fraud, but now it can be almost impossible to tell the difference between a real and a fake website.
Many consumers have been fooled by fake online stores that apparently sell popular items. After you've ordered and prepaid what you want to buy, the item never shows up - or you get fake products.The Norwegian Consumer Authority
According to our survey, 43 percent of those who shop online always check whether secure payment is offered, such as credit card, Klarna or PayPal. 49 percent state that they always or very often check an online store's reputation and ratings before making a purchase.
How often do you check the following before shopping from a webshop?
Only 18 percent of the respondents say that they always check the domain name of the online store. But it may be a good idea to take a second look at the website address of the store you consider to shop from.
For some fake shops, the website address consists of a well-known brand or product together with words such as "cheap" or "sale", for example supercheapparajumpers.no or www.raybansale.net.The Norwegian Consumer Authority
It may also be a good idea to note which top-level domain the online store uses. Different top-level domains set different requirements for those who want to register domain names. Top-level domains with few or no identification requirements, and which also offer free registration, tends to attract questionable activities.
The Norwegian top-level domain requires that everyone who wants to register a domain name must identify themselves, by providing either an organization number registered in the Register of Business Enterprises, or a national identity number registered in the National Population Register. However, this does not guarantee that you cannot be defrauded by a Norwegian domain name. But the requirement means that there is a real person or business behind every Norwegian domain name.