At Sitejabber, we’ve received thousands of reports of websites selling counterfeit DVDs. These sites often claim to sell authentic DVDs of television shows and movies. However, once they take your money a number of problems can arise:
- you won’t receive your order or you’ll receive only a partial portion of the order,
- the DVD will be of a different show or film,
- you’ll receive a bootlegged version of very low quality,
- you’ll find an exorbitant amount charged on your credit card that you did not approve,
- the DVD skips and does not work properly,
- the DVD is made for a different region and cannot be played on your equipment
- and you won’t be able to return, refund or exchange the order as you’ll find that the scammers won’t respond to your phone calls or emails.
Tips to Avoid Websites Selling Counterfeit DVDs
Before going online to seek a hard-to-find boxed set of an old favorite or a limited edition DVD of a relatively new blockbuster, be sure to take the following precautions:
By looking up reviews of a particular website on Sitejabber, you can learn from the experiences of other consumers which can help you to avoid scams and find trustworthy sites.
Carefully examine contact information
Whenever evaluating a website, look for a phone number and street address. Sites that lack phone numbers and physical addresses should be used with caution. If you’re at all uncertain about a site’s legitimacy, give the site a call and ask them about their business. It’s also possible to enter the business’s address into Google Street View, which can tell you if the business address is an empty lot or a real storefront. If you have a hard time finding a website’s contact information, you can check its Whois information. Use particular caution with sites based overseas.
Beware phony security badges
Companies such as Verisign and the Better Business Bureau sell “badges” for websites to use to appear more credible. However, many websites use phony badges. A real badge should link to the third-party site which provides the paid accreditation service and can verify the authenticity of the badge.
Look for professionalism
Lousy websites often have lousy spelling, lousy grammar and lousy design. If you find misspelled words, poor grammar or generally bad website design, use extra caution.
Perform a gut-check
The aphorism, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is” certainly holds for websites selling DVDs. So if an obscure site is selling your much-sought-after box-set of True Blood for 90% cheaper than it is on Amazon, you should take it as a big red flag.