Eye on Scams: Beware of fake lookalike websites

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Online driver’s license scams are targeting drivers in the Acadiana area. Local drivers need to beware of online DMV scams. If you plan to use Department or Office or Motor Vehicles to change your car’s title or other vehicle service, experts say to beware of scam websites made to look like real government sites.
 “The DMV started providing a lot of their services online, and consumers are finding lookalike sites saying that you can renew your license, get your real ID put in place, renew the registration for your vehicle, just click on this link, and it’s not actually going to the DMV or state hosted website, it’s going to a scammer and they’re stealing personal information, explained Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana.
Stolen personal information that could put you at risk for identity theft. Scammers are taking advantage of the new online DMV services by creating phony sites that claim to handle your license renewal or car title transfer.

“Scammers are really good at being bad for lack of a better way to put it. They can duplicate these websites,” Babin said. “They can use the same images, and a lot of times if you check the URL, you can realize it’s not the same website, but just at first glance, it looks like you’re at the actual DMV website for the State of Louisiana.”

Scott Lavergne, CEO of Enterprise Data Concepts, says scammers are very good at making things look legitimate… especially when it comes to lookalike websites.”Recently, all the web pages started moving to what’s the protocol called HTTPS so instead of the front of the URL, instead of saying HTTP, it says HTTPS and that means that a certification is issued to them for apple.com, and it’ll say it’s a secure site. It’ll have a little padlock by the URL as well, and that’ll tell you the website that you have is most likely legitimate,” said Lavergne.

Before you enter any personal or payment information on the website you’re on, double check the site’s URL to make sure it’s the real deal.

“The big thing to look for is that URL at the top. If you’re not at something.com, then you could be somewhere else. If you’re at Amazon.com, bestbuy.com, apple.com, you could be somewhere else and it could be amazon.something.com and then that’s when you need to be worried because you might be at a site that’s trying to spoof Amazon,” explained Lavergne.The Better Business Bureau has tips to avoid falling victim to fake websites:

  • Double check the URL before you enter personal and payment information. It’s easy to click on a sponsored ad or imposter website without noticing.
  • Be wary of third-party websites. Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam.
  • Make online purchases with your credit card. Fraudulent charges made on a credit card can usually be disputed.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

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