Attorney General Ashley Moody press release
VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of phishing websites when shopping for the holiday season
TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Attorney General Ashley Moody today warned Floridians who shop online for the holiday season to beware of phishing websites designed to look like a legitimate website. business. According to a Webroot Threat Report, traffic to fake websites increases during the holiday season, increasing by more than 20% off some of the most popular shopping days. A cybersecurity report, released in August, also shows that over the past six years, the impact of phishing attacks has quadrupled, now costing businesses $ 14.8 million per year. With many signs indicating a continuous increase in online sales During the holiday shopping season, Attorney General Moody encourages Floridians to stay tuned for websites that aren’t what they appear to be.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Online shopping was at record highs last year, and there’s a good chance this year will be similar. With millions of people searching for holiday gifts online, it’s no wonder that scammers are setting up bogus websites to steal their money. It only takes a simple change of letter, extra space, or the wrong click for a consumer to visit a scam website. Be extra careful this holiday season which websites you visit and make sure you only give financial information to trusted sites.
Phishlabs, self-proclaimed – cybersecurity professionals with the goal of making everyone safer online, created a graphic to show the simple adjustments crooks can make to create a web link that looks like the original.
Attorney General Moody is also warning retailers to search online for websites with URLs similar to their own. Websites that look like a retailer’s website can trick a consumer into accidentally providing financial information to scammers. In one Domain fraud report 2019 Conducted by online security company Proofpoint, 76% of Proofpoint customers have found similar domains masquerading as their brand. All similar websites found by retailers should be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaints Center. here.
To protect Floridians from fake website scams, Attorney General Moody offers the following tips:
- Pay close attention to the website address to make sure the correct page is visited;
- Refrain from clicking on website links from unknown sources;
- Look for an online store before buying anything there – check for authenticity;
- Stick to trusted sites, many of which are listed on the the Better Business Bureau’s online shopping directory; and
- Businesses should consider domain registration with slight variations to the companies’ designated domain, with the aim of preventing crooks from creating fake websites using the slight domain variations.
Attorney General Moody recently released the 2021 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide, with more tips for safe shopping online and how to avoid charity scams. The guide also contains a list of recalled items to look out for when shopping for the holiday season this year. To access the guide, click on here.
Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance brochures also include Scams at a glance: it’s the season, a brochure filled with tips consumers should consider to protect their financial and personal information this holiday season. To look at Scams at a glance: it’s the season, Click on here.
To report an online shopping scam, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1 (866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.