Need Help, How to Spot a Fake Website
Need Help, How to Spot a Fake Website
The Underlining Truth of Fake Websites
by Garen Arnold 8/07/09
How to Spot a Fake Website
Criminal phishing for personal information online is a booming business today. There are thousands of fake websites up and running right now, which are good for nothing more than collecting your private information for criminal purposes. Please read this article on “How Identity Theft Works?” In fact, most legitimate companies who typically collect personal information from customers have at least one fake site out there impersonating them. Anyone who uses the Internet for any purpose must be aware of the typical signs that website is fake. Here are a few things to look at before inputting any personal information into a website.
Is the URL Correct?
Look carefully at the exact web address for any site you visit. If you are uncertain of how to spell a company name or don’t know the exact URL for the site, double check and confirm the correct spelling and address before spending much time on a site.
Many phishing sites take advantage of common misspellings of a company name, fooling many people into putting in personal information without realizing they are at the wrong site. Often, the website will look exactly like the real site.
Even one letter or number being different in a URL is enough to put you in the hands of a professional phishing scam.
Do Links Work?
Some phishing sites will have links in the exact places links are placed on the real company’s website, but if you mouse over them you will find they are not links at all. Or, the links may open but lead to blank pages. Many phishing sites are not complete replicas. They only have enough information to fool you from the first page so you input your password.
Who Sent You the Original Message?
Most phishing schemes start with an email that leads you to believe they are your bank, Paypal, or another company you do legitimate business with. They will say that there is some sort of problem with your account, that you face suspension, or that you simply need to verify your information. There will then be a link that leads to the phishing site, which looks just like the website you are used to seeing when you visit for legitimate business.
Looking at the web URL to the site you are lead to will show that you are not at the real site, but it may be too late by then. Some phishing emails put a Trojan onto your computer the second you click that link. This program will start to record every stroke you make on your keyboard, sending it directly to the scammers. The best way to avoid this altogether is to look at the sender’s email address before you click any link in the message. Most scammers will have a private email address or even a free account through Yahoo or another free service. This is a dead giveaway that it is a scammer and not your bank or Paypal.
The best course of action is to never click a link inside an email to your bank or any other company that holds your personal information. If you are concerned about your account, go directly to the legitimate website and log in that way. Or, just give them a call to verify everything is okay and report the phishing email.
Another common website, that doesn’t relate to phishing is fraudulent shops. So how can you spot a fake website? At a glance they might appear to be a legitimate company, but upon further review you might find out differently. These types of sites have been extremely popular on many business-to-business websites.
Here are some tips for spotting a fake website:
Use your judgment; does something look too good to be true?
Does the site include an address, telephone number, and a contact link? If in doubt send them a message, via phone or email.
Mouse-over the links; do they link to other links that are not showed? Be leery of any links that do not go where stated.
Do they require personal information? Still Not Sure About A Fake WebSite?
Please visit the Better Business Bureau website and see if the company is really an accredited company. You can learn about a company just by checking with the Better Business Bureau. If they are in fact a legit business I would not do any business with a company that rated below a C.
Next, Google their website with the word scam, fraud, ripoff after it and see what pops up.
A lot of fake websites can contain viruses of spyware, which can run in the background to acquire your personal information. Just because you leave the website does not mean there is no threat. It is always a good idea to invest in an anti-virus program (such as a program by Symantec or Panda.) Above all, scam sites usually have only been around for 1-5 months. Never trust a site that is that new.
Need Help Spotting A Fake Chinese Website?
Fake Chinese websites seem to be popping up left and right. If you are familiar with b2b networks you have probably ran across a handful of Chinese websites that appear to be legit. However, I highly recommend that you read this blog post on “How To Check A Chinese Scam Site.” Have You Spotted A Fake Website?
There seems to be an awful lot of fake websites floating around the Internet. Whether they are trying to steal your personal information or rip you off. Please be cautious when spending your money online. I have written an article, which; explains the “steps to report online fraud.”