At Social Catfish, we investigate a fake cryptocurrency website that was used to scam Patty in the previous episode. We log into her account and take a look at what made Patty suspicious about this website. We noticed that she couldn’t take money out and also realized that while stocks were going down, her investment was still going up! This is highly unusual and led us to suspect that this website might be fake. We took a deeper look into the structure of the website to see what other clues we can gather when investigating a fake website.
Catfish Cases: Investigating a Fake Website
When looking at a website to determine whether it’s fake or not, we wanted to take a look at a few things to verify. While a website may seem legit with how cool it looks, scammers usually mess up on the little details and the back end of the website. At Social Catfish, we took a look at these little details that many people might have missed to prove that this website is indeed fake.
Patty’s Account Looked Suspicious
When we were investigating Patty’s account we immediately saw two things that looked out of place. The first thing we noticed is that her account balance was showing how much money she had in US Dollars, but it wasn’t showing how much Bitcoin she had. With Bitcoin investments, the website will show you how much Bitcoin you have instead of the US dollar amount.
The second thing we noticed on this website was that the stocks were decreasing which meant that Patty’s investments should’ve decreased too. Instead, they were showing to increase a steady amount of $500 a day. Investments are usually not steadily increasing like that, especially when the stock market is decreasing in value. Therefore, these signs led us to believe that this website is fake.
Patty Has to Pay to Withdrawal Her Funds
With Patty’s permission, we tried to make a withdrawal in Patty’s account to see what would happen. When we attempted, it said there was an error on the website and stated we needed to pay $60,000 in order to get a hold of Patty’s money.
A legit investment website would never make you pay to withdrawal your money from your account. This can easily be defined as a scammer tactic since the scammer is coming up with an excuse in order to get his hands on a large sum of money.
The Template Used For This Website Was Stolen
First, we looked into the source code used within the website to see if there was any information we needed to know it. We saw that there was a URL to another website embedded into the website, so we decided to take a look at it. We noticed that they were using the same website template as the scam website, concluding that they have stolen it from this website.
We then did some further research to figure out where this template might have come from. We found a website that sells templates for other websites called ProInvest, so we decided to see what templates they were selling. That’s when we noticed that we found the same template used on the scam website on sale for $72. This means that scammers can purchase this template at a cheap price to create websites easier and scam victims out of thousands of dollars.
There Were No Terms and Conditions Listed For This Fake Website
We looked through the meta code that was embedded in this website. This is another way we can look up information within a website using HTML codes. After searching for terms and conditions within the meta code, we found that there was no information listed under this tab.
This concluded that this website does not have any terms and conditions written which would therefore make it a fake business. This is due to the fact that all legit businesses have terms and conditions written to protect their business from any legal issues. With no protection, we can conclude that this is a fake investment company.
Investigating a Fake Website: How to Avoid Fake Websites
- Make sure that there are reviews on third-party websites for the website you are shopping on.
- Don’t pay using uncommon methods such as gift cards not meant for that website, wire transfers, or using cryptocurrency.
- Only trust official cryptocurrency investment websites such as Bitcoin, Coinbase, or eToro. Do your research to find out more legit websites.
- Don’t give any personal or financial information to a website when it doesn’t make sense to do so. For example, you don’t need to give someone your SSN to make a purchase.
- Look for an HTPPS to make sure that it is a secure website. Be wary if a website says that it’s not secure.
- Avoid giving sensitive information to a website such as bank account numbers or social security numbers.
- Avoid websites with a bunch of grammatical errors.
- Avoid websites that contain links that don’t work.
- Report any fake website you come in contact with to the FTC.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you think you’re dealing with a scammer, have had your pictures stolen, or need help investigating a fake website, Social Catfish is here to help you!
If you want to be a part of our next YouTube video or blog post and share your story, now is your chance. You can educate our audience about what you have gone through and make sure no one else goes through the same thing. All you need to do is email ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com, and we will get back to you with more details.
You can also reverse search any information you have on the Nigerian romance scammer to see who it is you’ve really been talking to. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image you can search it up in our search bar to see if there is more information when investigating a fake website.