June 27, 2023
Have you ever mistyped a website address or clicked on a link only to land on a page you weren’t expecting?
While this has happened to many people, criminals now create counterfeit websites with the same look and feel as legitimate sites. These malicious websites could lead to a compromised device, identity theft, and fraud.
How it Works
Criminals will initiate a phishing attempt with a malicious link embedded, guiding the recipient to the malicious site. The fraudulent website may even show up in Google searches, attracting unsuspecting visitors. Once a victim visits the site, they enter sensitive information or unknowingly download malware. Information gathered is then used to defraud the victim.
With a bit of awareness, we can reduce the risk of falling victim.
Malicious Links: Red Flags
- The message, email, or text that contains the link was unexpected.
- The language within the message has grammatical and/or spelling errors.
- There is a sense of urgency.
- The link address shows a different website address than what you would expect.
Fake Websites: Red Flags
- The website address closely resembles the legitimate website but has errors.
- For example, a zero (0) is used in place of an O or there is a missing/extra letter.
- The website’s format, appearance, and navigation seems off to you.
- The website is missing pages and other information you normally see.
- The website immediately prompts to a form that asks for sensitive information.
- Great job! Learning about the red flags outlined above is the first step.
- Pause before you click on a link. Look for red flags. When in doubt, do not click.
- Guard your personal information. Do not provide it with unexpected requests. Verify the legitimacy of any requests.