How to Recognize a Fake Website

It seems like every day criminals are finding new ways to use the internet to steal data and commit fraud. HarborOne is committed to keeping you up-to-date on all the latest scams so you can feel safer in cyberspace.

Learning to spot a fake website is vital to protect yourself online. A fake or scam website may look like a legitimate website but is designed to take advantage of users in order to commit fraud or identity theft. You may be sent a link to one of these sites from an email, text, or direct message.

We've put together a few tips on how to spot a website that isn't what it seems.

Spotting a Scam:

  • A misspelled website name. There may be a minor difference such as instead of
  • Look for the lock. Is there a padlock icon next to the website name? That indicates that a site may be safer because it encrypts user data. 
  • Does the website have contact information and privacy policies? Reputable companies clearly tell you their policies and how to get in touch.
  • Is an offer too good to be true? The old adage is right—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Scammers may run online ads or get their websites to show up in online searches. Use the tips above and be cautious when clicking on search results and ads.