If you click on a website for a well-known retailer, bank, or government agency, you may want to pay extra attention to the web address. If you are not careful, you could get scammed by a cloned website.
Here are a few things to look for:
Before clicking on a site, hover over the web address to be sure that you are being directed to an official, legitimate site.
Scammers have been known to create web addresses that look very similar to well-known sites. They may have the same logo, layout, and business/government name. However, they trick people by changing the suffix to.net versus .com or .com versus .gov.
Scammers might also use tactics like adding extra words, letters, or characters that can be hard to spot such as a period in the middle of an address.
A cloned website might seem vague, contain fuzzy graphics, spelling or grammatical errors, and be missing information about privacy policies, the street address, or other information that is typically found on an official company or agency’s website.
If you suspect that the site you visited has been cloned, do not enter any information until you check things out. Report the site to the legitimate company, as well as state and federal consumer agencies.