Late last week our FBI issued a Public Service Announcement warning about fake government websites being hosted by criminals with the intent of stealing information and money from US citizens. The sites are designed to look like real government websites and have Internet Domain Names (URLs) that look like real government sites. Consumers are directed to the sites by search engines when they are searching for government services, such as requesting an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The fraudulent sites appear in the search results and consumers click through and believe that they are interacting with a legitimate government website. The fraudulent sites typically ask for Personally Identifiable Information (PII), as well as fees to process their request. Obviously, it’s not a good idea to be providing this confidential information to fraudsters and criminals.
“The FBI recommends that consumers ensure they are communicating or requesting services/merchandise from a legitimate source by verifying the entity. When dealing with government websites, look for the .gov domain instead of a .com domain (e.g. www.ssa.gov and not www.ssa.com).”
The bad guys are constantly looking for new ways to exploit our daily use of the Internet. To help keep you informed about all of the Scary Internet Stuff occurring every day, we are offering regularly scheduled Internet Security Awareness briefings at our Lansing MI office. Click this link to learn more.