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TechnologyGoogle search scams: Here's how to spot a fake website

12:40  17 august  2019
12:40  17 august  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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QUESTION: I did a Google search for help with a software problem and got an 800 number for support that ended up being a scammer. How can I avoid scam websites in Google?

ANSWER: Google’s search technology and algorithms are pretty sophisticated, but it has an ongoing challenge with scammers that are constantly trying to game the system.

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Here are some of those signs: Here are some of the signs to identify fraudulent websites : Incorrect URL. In many phishing scams , scammers use You can also search Google or use Google maps to find the exact location of the company stated in that website . If the contact address provided on the

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Once a scammer's legitimate-looking website gets indexed by Google’s search engine, it will appear in search results based on the keywords you type – the scammers know how to leverage this.

While Google has a process for reporting websites that you suspect contain malicious software or a fake phishing page, it doesn't have any way for you to report a site that led you to call a scammer. Google has no way to investigate or verify any claims of this nature.

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Google suggested that it would have a verification system developed, so its staff could weed out the fake tech support advertisers, but it has yet to do so.

This means that legitimate third-party tech support companies are a lot less likely to appear in the ads at the top of your search results for fear of having their accounts suspended.

Fake tech support websites aren’t concerned about having their accounts suspended because they can simply use a different web address to create a new account, so be very careful with any ads you see when searching for any type of tech support until Google creates a verification process.

Signs of a scam support website

A common trait of the scam tech support websites is that they will prominently display an 800 number as soon as you land on their website.

If you’re looking for support from any of the large technology companies, they typically make it very difficult to find an 800 number because they don’t want you to call them as your first course of action – they want you to use their FAQs, email, chat bots or other methods that don’t require a human to be immediately available.

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It can be difficult to spot a fake , fraudulent or scam website . Fraudsters are extremely cunning and good at creating convincing websites . If the site does have ‘Contact us’ page but only offers a form to fill out, be wary as this could also be an indication of a dubious website .

Shopping on a fake website could result in your personal or financial information being stolen or your Knowing how to spot red flags is crucial but simple once you know what to look for. We’ve got tips You can also check up on a site through Google ’ s safe site search . The presence of the https

The scammers know that most people are frustrated and anxious to talk to someone to help them with their problem, which is why this trick is so effective.

Most tech companies have adopted a standard for redirecting users to their support section by simply adding /support to the end of their web address (Ex: Google.com/support), which is quicker and safer than using a Google search.

Sniffing out suspicious websites

There are a number of tools you can add to your browser that will try to alert you when others have reported suspicious, misleading or unethical activity on a website.

One of my favorites is a community-based reporting tool called Web of Trust that uses a color system for rating websites that show up in Google search results.

These ratings are from others that have used the tool to report one of the following: Green = trusted site; Yellow = suspicious site; Red = potential risk, and Gray = not enough ratings or unknown.

Ken Colburn is founder and CEO of Data Doctors Computer Services. Ask any tech question at: facebook.com/DataDoctors.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Google search scams: Here's how to spot a fake website

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Twitter bans financial scams in new policy .
Don't believe every tweet you read.On Monday, the social media site unveiled a new policy that prohibits users from using "scam tactics" to get money or private financial information from others. Some of these tactics include creating fake accounts to pose as a public figure or organization, telling users you will send a larger amount of money in return for a smaller payment, offering fraudulent discounts and impersonating banks or other financial information.

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