Notice the extra “n” in the URL above? No? Well, that was a test. So take note. As the holidays approach, we’re all in a rush to snatch up gifts in spare moments. Many of us will be doing the bulk of our shopping online. It’s really easy to type an address that’s off by one letter into your browser’s address bar. Fraudsters know this, so they snatch up copycat website addresses like amazonn.com or targets.com and create copycat websites.
Once you enter their cyber lairs, scammers can extract whatever information they want, depending on the nature of the website — your credit card number, phone number, even your driver’s license number. Which is exactly what happened in this Spiirit Airlines (not a typo) employment scam, uncovered by ProPublica. See if you can tell the fake from the real McCoy.
Beware: Copycat traps can come in the form of emails, too, so scrutinize all “official” company mail before you click. If you catch an email from PayPal in your inbox, for instance, and notice that PayPal has an urgent request that involves you handing over bank details or account details, it’s not PayPal. Likewise, never click on a link you’re not sure about. Copycat email links take victims to copycat websites, sucking them further into bottomless fraud.