Daily Dupaco

Monday, May 03, 2010

Learn to discern: fake websites vs the real deal

Some unfortunate, unemployed Floridians seeking their unemployment checks fell victim to a scam recently because they mistyped the state's benefits website address.

According to a post by Josh Smith on , while trying to claim their unemployment benefits some Florida residents inadvertently left out the period after the "www" of their desired world wide Web destination and landed on a different website, one full of ads and links to sites that ask for fees to file unemployment benefits. (walletpop.com)

This story is a good reminder that you need to check, and double check, a website's legitimacy before trusting content and especially before providing personal or account information. So how do you know when the site you're on is the real deal? Exercise caution and follow these tips:
  • Double check the web address that you have typed contains no typos.
  • Do not click through URLs provided in emails, especially from senders you don't know. If you believe an email to be legitimate, err on the side of caution and type the web address into your browser rather than clicking on the link provided.
  • Be cautious of a site that looks vastly different from that which you saw during your last site visit.
  • Trust your instincts. If you question the validity of the website, do not proceed. If possible, call the company to verify the website's legitimacy using a phone number you know to be true.
In addition, certain browser types can help users more easily identify the legitimacy of the address. For example, Internet Explorer 8's SmartScreen Filter helps users detect unsafe and potentially unsafe websites and avoid deceptive sites that are designed to trick you with misleading addresses.
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