Linguistic and geographic coherence: an indicator of reliability

In today’s digital world, the detection and prevention of online fraud have become a priority for consumers and businesses alike. Trust indicators have become essential tools in assessing a website’s credibility. One of these indicators, developed by Scamdoc, focuses on linguistic and geographic coherence. Let us explain the concept, its applications, its limitations, and its impact on the assessment of a website’s reliability.

Why would a company that runs a website have reasons to be based in a different country from its target market?

The reasons why a company may choose to be based in a different country from its target market can be manifold. On one hand, there are legitimate reasons: for instance, tax advantages, specific local assistance (especially for start-ups), access to particular talents, or superior technological infrastructure.

On the other hand, there are less virtuous motivations. Some companies seek to exploit the language barrier to make the intervention of a lawyer or the enforcement of laws in the event of a dispute more difficult. This can make the task of enforcing consumer rights more complex, as legal recourse may be limited.

How is this considered as a trust indicator by Scamdoc?

Scamdoc’s team has identified linguistic and geographic coherence as a key trust indicator, mainly due to the company’s experience with fraudulent or dispute-generating websites. It has been found, for example, that many companies based in countries like the UK or Hong Kong target only French consumers. This divergence between the company’s country and the language of the targeted consumers has therefore been identified as a potential indicator of suspicion.

The rules used by Scamdoc

Scamdoc activates this criterion when the language of the company’s country differs from that of the targeted consumers. In some cases, Scamdoc relies on the language detected on the targeted website, but the analysis of the domain extension can also have an impact. For example, the “.fr” extension is often associated with targeting French consumers.

However, this criterion has certain limitations. For example, if a website is multilingual and one of the languages corresponds to that of the company’s headquarters country, the criterion is not activated!

The impact of the score in Scamdoc

This “negative” criterion is currently in beta, which means that detection anomalies may occur. Moreover, it is important to note that this criterion should be interpreted with caution: as mentioned earlier, there may be legitimate reasons why a company is based in a country different from its target market.

For this latter reason, the impact of this criterion on the trust score is relatively low, but it nonetheless serves as an additional indicator when assessing the reliability of a website.