Don’t get caught out by scam websites! New tool lets you confirm whether a site is safe to use BEFORE visiting
- Get Safe Online is hosting a website-checking tool that tells you if it is a scam
- Users simply type the website address into the tool before trying to access it
- The algorithm will generate a safety report of the chosen website within seconds
- It is hoped this will prevent thousands of identity fraud cases in the UK
A new website-checking tool has been launched to help users confirm whether a site is legitimate before they visit it.
It enables users to enter the address of any website to check if it a real site or a scam, and provides a trust score for it.
The tool is hosted on the website of Internet safety group Get Safe Online, which worked with fraud prevention service Cifas.
The score is calculated by an algorithm based on more than 40 data sources and malicious website reports.
These reports come from law enforcement agencies, regulators and consumer brands to identify and vet the sites entered by users.
A new website checking tool, developed by Internet safety group Get Safe Online and fraud prevention service Cifas, is hoped to prevent thousands of cases of identity fraud in the UK
Fake or malicious websites, often impersonating genuine sites, are used by scammers to lure people into sharing personal and financial details which can facilitate identity theft
SIGNS YOU’VE BEEN A VICTIM OF ONLINE IDENTITY FRAUD
- Unfamiliar log-in alerts.
- Unrecognised items on bank statements.
- Mysterious changes to credit score.
- Unable to access online account, like Apple ID.
- You are refused financial services, credit cards or a loan.
- Surprise deliveries of goods you did not order.
Users simply type in the address of the website they want to check, and their results will appear within seconds.
It checks if it has been reported for phishing or malware, if any content has been blocked and its SSL Certificate that verifies its security.
Tony Neate, Get Safe Online’s chief executive, said: ‘For over 15 years Get Safe Online has been providing online safety advice and tips for individuals and small businesses to ensure all of us can use the internet safely and with confidence.
‘The internet is amazing, but as with so many things, there are downfalls to look out for when using it: scams, fraud, people trying to exploit you and your personal information.
‘Launching Check a Website today is revolutionary and we are very excited to be able to finally offer individuals the opportunity to literally check a website before they use it.
‘We are also hugely grateful to our partners who have helped to make it happen.
‘Now, we just want to let as many people know about it as possible so the UK can benefit from this new capability and help improve the united fight against scammers.’
Fake or malicious websites, often impersonating genuine sites, are used by scammers to lure people into sharing personal and financial details.
The details can then be used to facilitate identity theft, of which 9 out of 10 instances take place online.
According to the most recent data from Cifas, there was a 43 per cent increase in cases involving identity theft filed to the National Fraud Database in the first three months of 2022, compared to the same period last year.
‘This is a great tool for aiding consumers in the continuing fight against online fraud,’ Cifas chief executive, Mike Haley, said.
‘The devastating impact of fraud can result not only in the loss of income or sensitive personal information, but also a loss of confidence when navigating an increasingly digital world.
‘By being able to quickly check whether the website you’re visiting is credible, you can be safer online, reduce your exposure to illegal websites and have peace of mind knowing that you are defending yourself from cyber criminals.’
The groups hope that the tool will prevent thousands of people in the UK falling victim to unwanted online scams every year.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT YOUR CHILD FROM FALLING PREY TO IDENTITY THEFT?
Identity theft can happen to children as well as adults.
Kids’ personal details, like their name, date of birth and address, could potentially be used to open bank accounts, for example.
This could have a significant effect on their credit reports, especially when they reach adulthood.
There are steps that parents can take to keep their children’s personal data private:
- Keep your children’s personal data private: Ensure that online files are saved on devices that are password-protected and contain the latest anti-virus software.
- Educate your children on the importance of keeping their information private: Teach your children what personal information is and how they can keep it private. For example, they shouldn’t share details like their real name, date of birth or passwords with anyone, including on social media and gaming platforms.
- Monitor internet purchases: If your child wants to buy something online, you may want to do it for them. This way, you can ensure that secure, reputable websites are used.
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