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DEFENDERS: Spotting fake websites while shopping online this holiday


More people are expected to do their holiday shopping online because of the coronavirus pandemic, which means there's an increased risk of falling for online scams.

A common way scammers target people is they'll use fake websites. According to comparitech, a tech consumer website, about 30 million new websites were registered so far in November, and more than 5,000 of them were likely fake websites waiting to scam shoppers.

How to spot a fake website:

  • Little to no information listed about the company, including contact details.
  • WordPress was the most common CMS used to set up phishing sites. Typically scammers use basic, free templates.
  • Social media links don't go to the company's profile.
  • HTTPS is not always an indicator of a legitimate site.

How to shop safely online:

  • Never click on links or attachments of unsolicited emails, messages
  • Check the spelling of website URLs and email domains for typos
  • Only buy from reputable vendors and marketplaces.
  • A lack of contact information or terms of use is a strong sign that a site is a scam.
  • If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Article Topic Follows: Defenders
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Deborah Kendrick

Deborah is a weekday evening anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News.


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