Is there a website out there designed to look much like yours? And if so – what does it matter? Around 18,000 fraudulent websites are constructed each day, with scammers impersonating and misrepresenting brands. In maximum cases, those websites are created to trick site visitors into inputting their private and/or financial information and downloading malicious documents that could put their computer system at risk. These websites cost organizations and people hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair costs, theft, IT fees and misplaced business. On pinnacle of that, a fake internet site can critically put your business’ reputation on the line.
Whenever you notice one, step one is to report a fake internet site. In this guide, find out how to inform if an internet site is fake – and the way to take it down.
HOW TO IDENTIFY FAKE WEBSITE?
The maximum common way for terrible actors to impersonate a brand’s internet site is with a technique called “domain name squatting”. This includes registering a site that’s primarily based totally on a current brand name. This is frequently accomplished affordably and in a matter of minutes, and once they’re prepared up, scammers would possibly use their new domain to copy your branding (images, copy, etc.) and then sell fake products or phish for private information from unsuspecting visitors.
But how do you recognize in case your organization and its clients are at risk?
Firstly, use a domain name lookup device to search for your domain and comparable variations. Head to any websites you discover to check them out. This must be something you do proactively and frequently since fake websites can emerge all the time. Don’t have the time to monitor this? Explore online brand safety services to attend to it for you.
When browsing on-line as a consumer, you must understand how to inform if an internet site is fake. Websites you operate frequently are at risk, with Microsoft, Apple and PayPal being the maximum impersonated websites.
Before you have interaction with an internet site, keep in mind the following:
- Check the domain name – carry out a search to ensure you’re on the official internet site
- Avoid buying anything through bank transfer
- If something sounds too excellent to be true (like massive discounts on luxurious items, for example) it probably is
5 STEPS TO TAKE DOWN A FAKE WEBSITE PERMANENTLY
If you discover a spoof internet site with your branding, don’t panic. Learn a way to take an internet site down without difficulty and permanently with these steps.
SEND A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER TO THE DOMAIN REGISTRANT
A cease and desist letter need to be your first strive at resolving a conflict. Send one to the web page admin or domain registrant (the usage of a website search service like ICANN or DomainTools) and request that they prevent the unlawful activity. If you don’t get a response, or get the response you need, move on to the next step.
SEND A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER TO THE CMS PLATFORM
Send a cease and desist letter to the CMS platform the web page runs on. This could be WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Webflow or a lesser-known platform. You can also report a fake internet site to the domain registrar (which include GoDaddy or NameCheap). If the registrar isn’t the host, they might be able to help you track the host down.
PROVIDE EVIDENCE TO THE WEB HOST
When you report an internet site, web hosts will eliminate it if you can provide evidence that it’s fraudulent. Send screenshots of things that don’t seem right, which include domain name variations compared with the legitimate domain name, mis-spellings, scam links, fake addresses, etc. Remember that web hosts don’t want unlawful websites on their platform, so they’ll work with you to take down the web page if it’s fake.
If at first, an internet host refuses to take down an internet site on the basis of lack of evidence, retain to accumulate proof. Attempt to interact with the scammer thru an internet chat if possible, and take screenshots to trap them out.
GET IN CONTACT WITH GOOGLE
If you’re still having no luck, the following manner to take down an internet site is to report it to Google. Google has a content material elimination tool that helps you to report content, which Google will then investigate and take away if they deem it to be fake or illegal.
The maximum irritating element about taking down a fake internet site is knowing the scammer could create another one tomorrow, under a brand new domain name. Whether shielding your brand from social media impersonators or fake web sites – shielding your brand on-line is something that needs regular attention.