Bad Typing Skills Can Get You Scammed - Letter from Denver DA
Bad Typing Skills Can Get You Scammed
best, they are an embarreeesmint!
At worst, making
a typo when you enter a website name into your browser, may just
get you scammed. It's called a typo-squatting scam. A recent
report stated that more than 12 million web users have fallen
victim to the typo-squatting scam in the first 3 months of
Here's the scam:
Perpetrators set up fake web addresses that closely resemble
legitimate addresses but the address contains common typos such
as .cm versus .com. If you land on one of those typo
sites, you may just get nailed with viruses and malware. The site
may look so much like the real one that you'll be fooled into
providing personal data, or look so much like the real site, that
instead of buying the product you intended, you'll be purchasing
knock-off or imitation products.
your risk by:
the web address. Check your
spelling in the website before you hit enter (or return). Taking
the time to do so can save you the heartache of having your
identity stolen or prevent you from purchasing counterfeit
products at inflated prices. Those of you that type so fast
and assume you are 100% accurate are good prey.
*(Highschoolers, I'm talking to you!)
favorite websites. Once
you are positive that the address you entered is correct,
bookmark it. Doing this will save you from proofreading each
web address and is particularly worthwhile for websites that
have access to your financial information.
Use a search
engine. If you are
not sure what the address is for a certain site, use a
search engine like Google or Bing. When you are searching
for the website, be sure not to include .com in your search.
Do not click
on links found in social media posts or your feed.
Doing so, often leads to typo-squatters. Instead of clicking
on a link, open another tab, use your search engine to find
the company, then look for those sunglasses or fancy dress
that was advertised.
recheck the URL. Websites
often "redirect" to other pages on the web. Make a
habit of checking the URL/website address while you are on
the page. Think of it like you are checking your rear view
mirror while you are driving to make sure no one is coming up
If you choose
to ignore point #4, at least look for red flags in the web
in the domain (.com, .gov, .org, etc.) -- such as the web
address ending with .cm instead of .com
websites is not always easy. If you realize you have entered one
of your passwords on a typo-squatter's site, change your password
immediately. Once you secure your accounts, file a complaint with
the FTC .
SCAMMERS LOVE SECRETS
Scammers do love a secret, and Secret Shopping Scams
are right up their alley! An attendee at one of our Stand Up Against
Fraud seminars showed us a letter and accompanying money order he
received from Walmart. The letter was soliciting him to be a secret
shopper. (See the photo) Luckily the Denver resident checked with us
before he fell for the scam. The scam starts with a letter congratulating
the recipient on becoming a secret shopper for Walmart and provides
instructions for the assignment. The letter comes with a
legit-looking Postal Money Order with an amount, in this case, $990.
As the recipient, you are instructed to deposit the $990 money to
your own bank account, then utilize $10 of the (fake) check to test
Walmart's money transfer services. Then, with the remaining $980, you
'keep' $160 and the remaining
$820 should be sent to Texas for charity work through
your research. The web will reveal if this is a scam.
you get a solicitation via email, be advised that this is likely
not a legitimate website. To check if the website is
legitimate, hover over the URL to make sure that the web address
is correct for the company that the email is coming from.
for poor grammar and/or typos in the company's letter or email.
In the case shown in the photo, there were typos and
grammar mistakes throughout the solicitation letter. The following is
just one example:
case you were asked if you know the receiver, Simply tell them Yes.
Ignore any further questions asked for you to get accurate
wire money to someone you don't know. Wiring money is
the same as sending cash. Once you wire it, you may never get it
agree to deposit a check from someone you don't
know. If the check turns out to be fake, it will eventually
bounce; since you are responsible for any deposited checks to
your account, you will owe the bank the money you
give out your personal or financial information
without knowing exactly what company will be receiving the
information. Guard your personal information, and treat it as if
it were cash. Refrain from entering your Social Security, bank
account, or credit card numbers online or by phone to someone
who gets in touch with you.
There are legitimate secret shopper businesses, but
you don't have to pay to get into the mystery shopper business.
SPEAK UP AGAINST ELDER ABUSE
Elder Abuse is not ok, yet each year
approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced
some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5
million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated
that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to
Know the signs of
Elder Abuse. If anything sounds familiar, call the Police
or Adult Protective Services right away.
THINK YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED?
If you suspect you've been scammed or exploited, call
Hot Line to report it. 720-913-9179