How to Check Scam or Legitimate Websites

Phishing is an attack that attempts to steal your money, or your identity, by getting you to reveal personal information – such as credit card numbers, bank information, or passwords – on websites that pretend to be legitimate.

The question now would be how would one check if a website that comes up in an email or message ( that appears genuine ) is a scam website or a legitimate one?

We need to understand what is meant by a scam website, and how to avoid scammers.

Scam websites are any illegitimate internet websites used to deceive users into fraud or malicious attacks.

A scam website abuse the anonymity of the internet to mask their true identity and intentions. They hide themselves behind various disguises.

These can include false security alerts, giveaways, and other deceptive formats, just to give the impression of legitimacy. This will deceive the user to open up or access any link that may look legitimate, but in fact they are unknowingly accessing a scam website.

Through the uses of the internet, there would be hackers trying to get through the backdrop of a legitimate site and attempting to deceive you of your information, such are scam websites.

Among the millions of legitimate websites vying for attention are websites set up for an array of nefarious purposes. These scam websites attempt anything from perpetrating identity theft to credit card fraud.

How Do Scam Websites Work?

Scam websites work in a variety of ways, from publishing information that misleads one, to promising unrealistic rewards.

The objective remains to get the user to give out important personal and financial information.

Such fraudulent websites can be standalone, unauthorized layover sites, or even popups (generally seen on sites when one downloads freeware).

These websites overlay on legitimate sites using techniques like click jacking. These scam websites work methodically to attract users and misguide them.

Here are some of the techniques that are used by scammer:

  1. Bait: Attackers draw internet users to the website through various distribution channels.
  2. Compromise: Users perform an action that exposes their information or system to the hackers.
  3. Execute: Attackers from the scam websites, exploit the users to misuse their private information for personal gain or to infect their devices with malicious software used for various purposes.

Scam websites in all generality make use of social engineering — exploits of human judgment rather than technical computer systems.

One of the important human factors that these websites use, is of human emotions.
Emotional manipulation helps an attacker bypass the natural instincts.

The scam websites will often attempt to create the below feelings (in their victims):

  • Urgency: Time-sensitive offers, with a sense of urgency, or account security alerts – can push one to immediate action before thinking critically.
  • Excitement: Attractive freebies such as free gift cards or a rapid wealth-building scheme can trigger optimism that may lead one to overlook any potential downsides.
  • Fear: False notifications of virus infections and account compromise alerts, leads to panicked action that often ends up with sharing confidential information.

Whether these emotions work in tandem or alone, they serve to promote the attacker’s goals.

How to Identify Scam Websites?

There are simple ways to identify such fraudulent websites and ensure the safety of family and finances safe as one navigates through the World Wide Web.

Below are some of the tips to identify such scam websites:

  • Emotional language used in the scam websites: Does the website speak in a way that may heighten the human emotions? Scammers use psychological tactics to create a sense of urgency or fear to pressure visitors into making impulsive decisions. Be cautions if one feels an elevated level of urgency, optimism, or fear.
  • Poor design quality of these scam websites: It may sound a little obvious but a close look at how a site is designed will tell us more on the design. Does it have the type of design skill and visual quality we would expect from a legitimate website?
  • Low-resolution images and odd layouts. Low-resolution images on a website can be a warning sign of a scam. Reputable websites prioritize high-quality visuals to showcase their products or services, reflecting attention to detail and professionalism.
  • Odd grammar used to in the scam website pages: Spelling mistakes, broken or stilted English, or really obvious grammar errors, such as the incorrect use of plural and singular words, are some of the characteristics for any scam website, because the haste in developing such websites and the amateur approach to get past the user, would end up in such obvious mistakes.
  • Lack of contact information: A business website would always have basic pages, such as a “Contact Us” page and an “About Us” page. To check what is being claimed, give the business a call. If the number is a mobile phone or the call isn’t answered, it should get one on guard. If a business seems to want to avoid verbal contact, there’s probably a reason.
  • Unrealistic offers: Scam websites often lure visitors with unbelievable deals or promises that seem too good to be true. Exercise caution when encountering excessively discounted prices or unrealistic claims.
  • Secure connection issues: Scam websites may lack secure connections, indicated by the absence of the padlock icon, SSL certificate or “https” in the URL. Avoid entering personal information on sites that aren’t encrypted.
  • No privacy policy or terms of service: Legitimate websites typically have clear privacy policies and terms of service pages. If these crucial documents are missing or poorly written, it’s a red flag.
  • Lack of online presence: Scam websites often have limited social media presence or absence from reputable online directories. Verify the website’s legitimacy by searching for independent information or customer reviews.
  • Trustworthiness of the domain: Examine the website’s domain name for any suspicious variations or misspellings of popular brands or well-known companies. Scammers often create deceptive URLs to mislead visitors.
  • Suspicious reviews or testimonials: Scam websites may feature fabricated or overly positive reviews. Look for inconsistencies, grammar errors, or generic language that could indicate fake feedback.

For a Victim of a Scam Website

When one falls victim to any of these malicious scam websites, immediate action is intended. The chance to limit the attacker’s ability to exploit the user, lies exclusively with the user.

Here are some of the way to reduce such scams:

  • Stop communication with the scammer, if one has been in touch.
  • Find and halt any pending or ongoing payments to scammers.
  • Cancel any compromised credit cards to prevent further unwanted charges.
  • Update the most essential passwords and PINS, including banking and email accounts.
  • Freeze the credit account to keep scammers from misusing identity for new account fraud.
  • Report the scam website to any service providers and institutions like the Cyber Police cell, that may be able to help.

When attempting to stop future fraudulent websites, notifying the appropriate authorities is crucial.

More details can be found at our page – The Website Security To Protect Websites From Hacker

There are tools like website checkers which will check the website for any content that may term it as scam websites.

There are certain free sites like, which check if a website is a spam website or a legit one.

One needs to enter the website name and then the site is checked for the Domain Whois and also the registration details.

It also checks the newness of the website – which also can prove if the website is there for a long time – which is a proof of it being a legitimate, or if it has been created recently and for a short period – which could possibly mean that the purpose would be intended spam.

For more information on how to stay protected, do visit us at here:

Stay Vigilant. Stay Protected with Exabytes

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How to Prevent Your Website Being Hacked

Singapore Ransomware Attack: Best Practices Against the Rise

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