With technology being at the forefront of our day-to-day lives, we can easily overlook hackers trying to steal our personal information. That’s why FTC tries to alert its customers to possible security threats as they arise. With that in mind, here is information on “typosquatting,” the latest scam to hit the Internet and technology world. It can come as a result of a simple typo.
What is it?
Often, the perpetrators are overseas criminals who take the name of a major brand or popular site (think Netflix, Costco or Google) and claim a website address that is very close to the real one (for example, adding an extra “o” in the address, like in costoco.com). That way, when users accidentally mistype the address, they are led to a site that resembles the one they are seeking. The criminals will likely set up a “survey” or “free gift” scam in order to gain credit cards or other information once the users are on the fake site. Sometimes, the scam is even made to look like an anti-virus update.
"These sites are also dangerous because they could download malicious software to your device simply by visiting the site. So you don’t even need to click on a link or accept a download for dangerous code to install on your computer, smartphone or tablet. This is called a drive-by download and many typosquatters employ this as a way to spread malicious software whose purpose is to steal your personal information." – McAfee™
How can I avoid it?
Always err on the side of skeptical. Never give personal information out on a sketchy site, don’t download any updates from sites you did not specifically seek out, and slow down enough to read exactly what address you type in.
"Accidentally misspelling a web address could send you to an entirely different website that hopes to gain access to personal or financial information." – NBC Nightly News
If you have any additional questions, a local customer service representative will happily assist. Please call 888-218-5050 or visit ftc-i.net.
SOURCE: NBC Nightly News and McAfee™