Now you see it. Now you don’t.
Many people choose to shop online because of the convenience. Unfortunately, this puts you at risk of online scams because fraudsters are able to mimic genuine websites and take your hard-earned cash. This type of scam is known as “mirror site” deception.
What Are Mirror Sites?
A mirror website is a replica of another website – a website that is set up to defraud people.
Scammers can mirror genuine websites. For example, although you think you are booking directly with a hotel, you are, in fact, ‘booking’ with a rogue third-party. This could mean you might lose the money you pay for your hotel stay, you might become a victim of identity theft, or your computer might get infected with a virus, which results in more financial loss for you.
How to Tell if You Are Using a Fraudulent Mirror Site
Always be on the lookout for bad spelling and grammar. If you notice that text is badly written, it could indicate that it was not written by skilled copywriters that businesses typically use.
There is no lock symbol:
When you view the website, always look for a lock symbol in the web address bar and check that the URL begins with https. It’s a little lock icon right next to the url in the address bar.
Scammers want you to make a purchasing decision without considering the validity of the offer or how reputable they are. They will put pressure on you to act fast so you part with your money before you are able to conduct your own research. For this reason, be wary of time-sensitive offers or emails that panic you into thinking there is “just one more left!”
What to Do if You Have Been a Victim of Mirror Site Fraud
- End all communication with the representative of the website.
- Call your bank and cancel any scheduled payments.
- If you paid by credit card, let your provider know immediately.
- If you have a password for the site and you use that password for other websites, consider changing those passwords in case your data has been accessed.
- Make sure your web browser is up-to-date and your PC is backed up with antivirus software. This is important in case the scammers have compromised your computer with a virus.
- File a complaint with your state attorney general and the state attorney general of your destination.
- Regarding travel mirror sites, if you are traveling abroad, file a complaint with the federal trade commission.
- If a substantial amount of money is involved, you can report it to the police.
Above all, remember: if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Just as we want to protect you against scams, Asurea is dedicated to protecting you, and your loved ones with insurance. Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn More’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’
All content provided in this article is for general, informational purposes only.