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Typing in the wrong keyword

typosquatting fraud dogThe fraudsters are hoping that when you are typing in your favorite website, that you will misspell it. We call this type of phishing scam – Typosquatting. Fraudsters are always thinking of creative ways to steal from you, especially when you least expect it. Most of time when we are in a hurry they are not checking for spelling errors. Fraudsters will copy a common retail, banking and browser website, hoping you will not notice. Then these fraudsters are trying to get your user identification and passwords. Fraudster move quickly as they can empty out a bank account within minutes, and order items using your information, as they will go to the real website and quickly take whatever they need.

 

What is Typosquatting?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting, and possibly brandjacking which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter

 

From: Typosquatting, The good, bad and ugly

ROBERT E. HOLTFRETER, PH.D., CFE, CICA

Paul Ducklin, a computer security expert with the company, Sophos, recently investigated the scale and risk of the typosquatting industry and reported his findings in “Typosquatting — what happens when you mistype a website name?” on the Sophos Naked Security website.

Ducklin applied “every possible one-character typo” of six popular domain names: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Sophos. He collected http data and browser screenshots from 1,502 websites and 14,495 URLs. He found the most typosquatting activities on these sites:

  • Advertising and popups: 15 percent.
  • IT and hosting: 12 percent.
  • Search: 6 percent.
  • Cyber crime: 3 percent
  • Adult and dating sites: 2 percent.

It makes sense that advertising and popup sites lead the list because, again, entrepreneurs (both good and bad) like to piggyback on the domain names of popular companies and create typosquatting sites to traffic their products or earn revenue click after click by advertising products for others. Of course, those who run the high-risk sites in the list — cyber crime and adult and dating — intend to present them as harmless. According to Ducklin, the cyber-crime sites “are associated with hacking, phishing, online fraud or spamming” activities.

Ducklin identified the U.S. as hosting the most typosquatting URLs at 63.8 percent. Germany follows at 4.6 percent; China, 4.1 percent; the U.K., 3.1 percent; Japan, 2.7 percent; and South Korea, 2.5 percent.

 

You won’t realize it until it is too late.

Remember that when you are surfing the web, interacting with specific websites that are important to you, please make sure you are on the correct website for that business.  Typosquatter’s are always lurking on the web, and banking on your typing error will put money in their pocket, says Linda Webb, Fraud Expert.

 

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