Think You’ve Just Been Exposed to a Cyber Criminal? Here Are 8 Ways You Can Save Yourself and Others From Being Scammed.

Think You’ve Just Been Exposed to a Cyber Criminal? Here Are 8 Ways You Can Save Yourself and Others From Being Scammed.

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Statistics about the number of scam website littering the internet are alarming. During 2020, Google registered more than 2 million phishing websites alone. That means more than 5,000 new phishing sites popped up every day — not to mention the ones that avoided Google’s detection. In 2021, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported nearly $7 billion in losses from cybercrime that is perpetrated through these sites.

What are scam websites? Scam websites refer to any illegitimate website that is used to deceive users into fraud or malicious attacks. Many scammers operate these fake websites and will download viruses onto your computer or steal passwords or other personal information.

Reporting these sites is an important part in fighting back. Also, if you spot something, tell them. Scammers can target another target by keeping quiet, even if they don’t fall for your bait.

Perhaps you have received a suspicious email link? Perhaps you received a strange text message or link in an email. There are many organizations that have taken steps to reduce the threat they pose. These organizations collect and share information about scam websites to put them on the radar. Sometimes, these reports lead to an investigation into the perpetrators of the sites.

    Related: Learn How to Protect Your Business From Cybercrime

    It’s free to report a suspicious website you’ve encountered, and it takes just a minute. Here are eight ways you can report a suspected scam website to stop cyber criminals and protect yourself and others online.

    1. The Internet Crime Complaint Center

    The IC3, as it is known, is an office of the FBI that receives complaints from those who have been the victims of internet-related crime. The IC3 includes illegal activity involving websites as part of the list of internet crimes it addresses. Complaints filed with the IC3 are reviewed and researched by trained FBI analysts.

    2. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

    CISA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, targets a wide range of malicious cyber activity. It requests reports on phishing activities that use fraudulent websites. Information provided to CISA is shared with the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a non-profit focused on reducing the impact of phishing-related fraud around the world.

    3. econsumer.gov

    The econsumer.gov site, run by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network, is for reporting international scams. It is supported by consumer protection agencies and related offices in more than 65 countries. A secure version of their site is used by law enforcement agencies to share info on scams.

    4. Google Safe Browsing

    While Google does not have a mechanism for reporting all varieties of website scams, there is a form for reporting sites that are suspected of being used to carry out phishing. Reports made via the form are managed by Google’s Safe Browsing team. Google’s Transparency Report provides information on the sites that it has determined to be “currently dangerous to visit. “

    Related: Is That Instagram Email a Phishing Attack? Now You Can Find Out.

    5. PhishTank

    This service was founded by Cisco Talos Intelligence Group to “pour sunshine on some of the dark alleys of the Internet.” Phishtank includes an ever-growing list of URLs reported as being involved in phishing scams. It has received more than 7 million reports about potential phishing websites to date. It says that more than 100,000 of the sites are still online.

    Related: 6 Ways Better Business Bureau Accreditation Can Boost Your Business

    6. Antivirus Apps

    Antivirus providers such as Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee have forms that can be used to identify pages that users feel should be blocked. This category includes scam sites. Some antivirus platforms have reporting forms that can only be accessed by registered users. Norton’s is open to anyone.

    7. Web host

    There is a chance that the DNS service hosting the scam site will take action to shut it down. There are many online resources that will help you find the DNS for a site. Once you identify it, send a message to their customer service reporting the site in question and the experience that you had.

    8. Share your experience on social media

    This is actually more like sounding an alarm than filing a report, but it might protect one of your connections who stumbles upon the same site or is targeted by the same type of scam. It could at least draw attention to the fact scam sites can affect real people. A Facebook post about a near encounter with a scam could help your network avoid dangerous entanglements. They’ll be grateful if it does.

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