Recognize fake websites

You’re looking for information about a product. You click and read and then click again. The next day, you find you can't log in. Pre-occupied with your search, you didn't notice that one of the sites was not secure. And now your name and log in details are there for the taking.

Identify sham sites.

What are fake websites?

Fake websites are created by scammers to trick you into sharing sensitive information. For example passwords for accounts, financial information, or other personal information. Or to trick you into downloading malware or buying products that don't exist.

Although scammers may create fake websites in the hope that you will happen to land on them online, these sites are usually used as part of phishing attacks.

Here's how you can recognize a fake website

  • Look closely at the domain name. Does it contain spelling mistakes or refer to an unknown domain?
  • A green lock in the browser bar indicates that the website protects the data you enter on the site, and says nothing about the website's intentions.
  • Look for spelling errors, poor quality images and strange layout or layout.
  • Check how old the domain is. Scammers use a domain very briefly. A recently registered Web site may be less trustworthy. See when a Web domain was registered on Whois Lookup.
  • Check if there are user reviews on independent websites about this website and check if any complaints have been reported about the website. You can do that with a search using "Name of website + complaint.
  • Read the terms and conditions for shipping and returns carefully. Are there no terms and conditions to be found? Then it's probably a scammer.
  • What payment option is offered? Never pay in the form of gift cards, iTunes credit, or payment options such as Zelle, Venmo or Western Money Transfer.
  • Does the offer on the website sound too good to be true? Then it's probably a scammer.
  • Don't blindly trust images of online labels and certifications. When in doubt, contact the organization issuing the seal.

Are you a victim of a fake website?

Have you transferred money or entered data on a fake website? Cybercrime First Aid will help you limit the damage.