Do You Know a Scam Website When You See One?
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Jamie May, VP of Customer Support and Chief Investigator, ALLClear ID 

There are literally thousands of scams and misleading websites out there, with new ones created every day. As a consumer, a key to protecting your identity is to learning to identify these scam websites so you can protect yourself when online.

To test your current ability to spot a scam, head on over to this website and see what you think.  Is it a scam or not?

Websites that look a lot like this one have been known to steal money from consumers while providing nothing in return, and they solicit personal information that can be used to commit identity theft.  If you haven’t figured it out by now, this website is a teaching tool created by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to educate consumers about the dangers of scam websites.

Clicking on any of the links on this teaching site will lead you to a scam alert page that offers tips to prevent identity fraud and theft. Here are a few signs that a website might not be what it seems:

  • Contains Exaggerated Claims. If a website tells you that you can make thousands of dollars in just a few hours a week or that offers a guaranteed way to get rich quickly, it is probably too good to be true.
  • Asks for Money Upfront. If a website asks for money to learn more it may be a scam. Beware of sites that ask for money upfront or encourage you to purchase a “risk-free starter kit” or something similar.
  • Asks for Too Much Personal Information. Be careful where you share your personal information online. If an unknown website wants bank account or sensitive information (like your Social Security number) to get started, they may be looking to steal your identity or run some sort of other scam. Check companies through the Better Business Bureau before providing sensitive information online. 

Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam!