Whether you are great at typing or a 2 finger type-pecker, we all occasionally type in the wrong website. “Typosquatting” is a reinvented scam that seeks to take advantage of those times when we accidentally end up on the wrong website. “Phishing” is another scam that seeks to set up fake websites, and send malicious emails, all in the hopes of stealing personal information. These scammers buy domain names similar to very popular websites. Instead of wellsfargo.com they might have the domain, wellsfargo.om, a very common mistype. They mimic the real website hoping you will enter in your username and password; giving them full access to your online banking. Or you might misspell Netflix.com for Netflixc.com; in this scam they will imbed malware, and when you attempt to watch a movie from the fake site, it will infect your computer and give them access to your personal information. Which they will use to access your bank accounts, steal your identity, or file fake tax returns in your name.
They cybersecurity firm Endgame has found 319 websites ending in “.om” that appear to be similar to the aforementioned scams. If you follow some basic rules you can keep yourself safe from scams:
- Doublecheck your spelling when typing in websites. You might save your online banking and other high value websites to your bookmarks bar so as to not go to the wrong address.
- Don’t click on links sent to you in emails or call phone numbers sent in emails. Hackers are expert at imitating emails from your bank, or corrupting a friend’s email account and sending malicious emails from them. Do your own independent research. If it is an email from your bank, look up their phone number or website from your last statement.
- When receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be your credit card or bank, don’t give them any information. Kindly hang up and look up the phone number for your bank or credit card company and call them directly.
- Trust your instincts. If that prince from Zimbabwe is willing to give you $10,000,000,000 if you wire them $3,000, then, they are not a prince and won’t give you anything but a headache. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.