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Identifying Obvious Scammers and Their Websites

World  (tags: Scams, Crime, corruption, dishonesty, internet, safety, abuse, computers, investigation, research, protection )

- 2195 days ago -
There are many scam websites on the internet. The list is endless. Any website you encounter could be fraudulent, even if it looks fantastic! scammers use scam websites to make fraudulent companies appear legitimate and their scams more believable.

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Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 11:21 pm
Thanks so much dusty we need this here!

Catherine Turley (192)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 12:36 am
didn't even know there was such a thing as scamchecker. there are so many random chipins, facebook pages, and foreign rescues... odds are good that many of us have been scammed. and every penny we accidently give to a scammer is a dog or cat that goes unfed. we need to ask more questions. and the true rescues should be willing and happy to answer.

zora b (85)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 3:00 am
Thank you, Darby, for this valuable info.

Carol H (229)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 4:17 am
noted, thank you Dusty

FulviaAway M (314)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 4:21 am
Thank you so much, Dusty! Very helpful post!

. (0)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 4:27 am
Thanks Dusty - the number of people who set themselves up as charities, stealing money from those who are prepared to make sacrficies to give to others to help them out in a time of need (few of us, unless we own a bank, have a lot of money to spare these days) seems to grow by the day. Such people should be ashamed of themselves.

Vallee R (280)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 7:30 am
Wonderful Dusty - thanks.

Dusty Debandi (113)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:26 am
Here's a Story that came out on Yahoo Exclusives today:

"Poisoned Search Results: More of a Malware Threat Than You Probably Think:

Be careful what you click on when searching the Web; the international cybercrime community is coming for you.

That's the message from Internet security firm Blue Coat, which earlier this year found that poisoned search engine results remain the number one malware threat on the Web, accounting for a full 40 percent of all cyberattacks in 2011. The popular bait-and-switch tactic is nearly four times more likely to snag unsuspecting users than the once common email-based approach, which now only accounts for 11 percent of attacks. Social networking rounds out the top three threats with 6.5 percent.

The Blue Coat report was based on an analysis of the Web traffic of more than 75 million users.

"Searching is at least as dangerous as going into your email in-box and clicking on things," Chris Larsen, Blue Coat's chief malware expert, recently told USA Today.

The scam works like this: The bad guys set up themed "bait sites" using terms that are likely to show up in search engine results, as a way to trick users into visiting their sites. When the unsuspecting user clicks on a poisoned result in their search engine, thinking they are going to a legitimate site related to their search, they are served a site designed by the phishers to gather their financial information or get them to download a piece of malware or otherwise fall victim to whatever scam they are running. In many cases, users don't even know they have been victimized until it's too late.

A Numbers Game

It's the sheer scale of search engine traffic that attracts the scammers. With millions of users clicking on Google and Bing search results every hour of every day, sooner or later someone is going to slip up and visit a malware site.

Still, the study revealed some interesting trends in search poisoning strategy. The conventional wisdom is that cyber criminals are more likely to focus on major news events or celebrity stories that would generate lots of traffic for their sites, but in fact they seem to prefer to target searches to terms that only a few people will be searching for to give themselves a better chance of showing up at the top of the search results page. People don't expect poisoned search results when looking for obscure refrigerator parts or Christmas decorating ideas, Larsen said, so their guard is down and they are more likely to click.

And, unfortunately for everyday users, poisoned search results are far from rare. There were 26 million new malware samples reported in 2011, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and nearly 40 percent of the world's computers are thought to be infected. According to Blue Coat, 1 in every 142 searches last year led to a malicious link, while research by Web security firm Symantec has found that as many as one in three search results in its studies are poisoned. Either way, the odds heavily favor the bad guys.

Case in point: Earlier this year, search results related to the popular Hunger Games series of books and movies were poisoned on a large scale by cyber criminals, setting off international warnings from Web security firms.

Stay Safe Out There

So what can average users do to protect themselves from the risks of poisoned search results? Awareness is the key, as is a basic understanding of what legitimate Web addresses look like. Here are a few suggestions from Blue Coat.

Scan the site description Google and Bing display two lines of "flavor text" alongside their text search results, which can provide clues to the site's provenance. "Look for disjointed, random text, like it was mashed up by a computer (because it was)."

Check out the domain name "Is it one you've heard of? Does it seem to have something to do with the topic you were searching for?"

Preview before clicking "Google now has a 'preview' feature, where text-search results have a little button to the right. If you hover your mouse on it, it will display an image of the page. This lets you see if the page 'looks legit.'"

Know your top level domains (TLDs) "There are a lot of two-letter TLDs assigned to specific countries: .RU = Russia, .IN = India, etc. If you're searching for a U.S. culture topic, like Halloween costume ideas, or Thanksgiving recipes, or Christmas decorations and your search returns results on .RU or .IN, etc, ask yourself if it's likely that a site hosted there would really have good content about your search topic."

Use protection It's always important to protect your computer with antivirus and antimalware software, which will block many of the malicious infrastructures that run search engine poisoning attacks.


Dusty Debandi (113)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 9:53 am
@ Zora = My name is "Dusty".....not Darby but I will remember that name for the next pup that I get, if I ever get another. It's a cute name! SMILE!

Dusty Debandi (113)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 9:55 am
@ Howard = I don't think that these people have any shame. They are socialpaths who do not care who they hurt or harm.

Kevin A (64)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 12:38 pm
Scambusters,org ( has been my go to site for scams for tears. Also there have been hundreds of hoaxes and fraud emails online, Often you can confirm or bust rumors, urban legends, and others at (

Sheryl G (360)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 1:54 pm
Thanks Dusty, this is very much needed information that I didn't have. We obviously all need it as we get little help on here to remove the fraudulant people. I find that as we are now linked in with FB I am getting hit more and more frequently by those who are coming from various places that we never use to see on here. I'm also getting hits from so called lover boys who have fallen in love with me from first sight, ya right, and I'll buy that bridge they got for sale too.

Wednesday June 20, 2012, 5:59 pm
I have Norton Internet Security, and it has a safe web toolbar which shows which websites have already been checked out by Norton and approved safe. I feel that with all of the Malware attacks, that it is safer for myself, and so far, no bad websites. But more important, it has kept me safe by stopping a few virus Malware attacks from legit websites!

M B (62)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 11:57 am
Thanks Dusty !

Robert O (12)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 12:41 pm

Shan D (49)
Thursday June 21, 2012, 1:54 pm
Extremely useful information.

Susanne R (235)
Friday June 22, 2012, 9:19 pm
Great information, Dusty! Thanks for posting it!

Kathy Javens (104)
Wednesday July 4, 2012, 9:11 am
Noted. I will definitely post this to my FB page. This is info that EVERYONE needs to know. Many thanks for posting.

. (1)
Friday July 6, 2012, 9:00 am
Noted. Thank you Dusty.

Vinnie m (334)
Sunday July 29, 2012, 9:58 pm
Noted and thanks for those Sites to check Scammers who are malicous nasty people who need to get a JOB.. I wrote them down. Sorry you're leaving Dusty due to how Care2, is treating you for Exposing these scammers. I did get your message with ur e-mail. Thx.Hun. xo

Prija Kul (1)
Monday February 3, 2014, 2:31 am
There are n-number of websites out there in the internet . to check whether the site is safe or scam by using following steps :

Call, write, or email the website using the contact information provided on their website to check for legitimacy.
If you reach an automated voice messaging system, find that the number is not in service, or nobody answers during regular business hours, the website may not be legitimate.
Visit the Whois website ( like featured in the Sources section of this article to validate and assess the company's information.
Look at content and photos on the website to make sure they are original and related to the company's products and services.
Look at the website address in the address bar of your Internet browser to verify that the website or links you have clicked on did not redirect you elsewhere.
Verify that the website's checkout or payment page is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) secured to protect your credit card number and other personal information you enter.
Type the company's name into a major search engine to see if they appear in search results and to see if they are mentioned anywhere else on the Internet.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
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