Fake & or fraudulent websites: A brief introduction:
Fake & or Fraudulent websites come in a staggering variety, but what exactly makes them fraudulent websites, and how are these websites used? Scammers set up fake websites to perpetuate their scams. The presence of a website often makes their scams more believable to victims.
The most commonly used fake & or fraudulent websites fall into three different categories:
- Fake bank sites
- Fake courier / logistics / escrow company sites
- Fake law firm / company / or military sites
These sites are used in advanced fee fraud in several ways. The most frequently used are fake bank websites. These are sites which are either directly attempting to impersonate a legitimate bank, or are a completely fictitious bank. Please note that scammers will often impersonate various legitimate companies, and may include a link to a those companies’ real websites in their emails.
Fraudulent Bank Sites:
Fraudulent bank sites are sent to potential victims for things like ‘next-of-kin’ scams or lottery scams. You may receive an email saying you’ve been selected as the winner of some prize, or that a wealthy person has died and you have been chosen as a trusted person to help recover these funds. The “money” may supposedly be in a bank, or you may be asked to correspond with a bank regarding this transaction. This is where fraudulent bank sites come into play. A site might appear to be a legitimate bank, while it’s really a site set up by scammers to fool people into thinking they are dealing with a real bank.
Fraudulent Courier/Logistics/Escrow Sites:
Fraudulent courier sites, as well as fake ‘logistics’ company sites and fake ‘escrow’ company sites, are often employed when scammers are claiming to be sending something to you. The advanced fee fraud occurs when your ‘shipment’ or the closing of your ‘escrow’ requires a fee to move on with the deal. These sites will often have tracking pages to convince victims. Again, these fraudulent sites may be copying legitimate sites, or may simply be fake companies.
Fraudulent Law Firm / Company /Military sites:
These types of sites are used in a variety of ways. Romance scammers pose as someone they are not on a dating website, and they may send these fake sites to potential victims as ‘proof’ of their high status or importance. One angle of romance scam involves scammers impersonating soldiers, and often uses fake military sites.
Fake law firm sites might be a part of ‘negotiating’ a transaction regarding a fund.
Fake company sites are used in debt collection scams, in which scammers play several parties, including debtor and creditor, or in employment scams recruiting money mules.
If you think you have encountered one of these fraudulent sites, look it up with a search engine. If there are references to the site in scam-fighting or warning forums, the site is fake. If you don’t find any results that appear to be legitimate, then the site is highly likely to be a fake. Always trust your instincts!