Pride Month is meant to honor the LGBT community’s achievements and continuous fight for equal opportunities. However, for scammers, it’s just another chance to deceive people and make money. So, while browsing the internet to find some trendy pride items or connect with more members of the community, beware of fake websites. Check out the article below as we tell you why you should watch out for these fake sites, the types of fake websites that target the LGBT community, and how you can avoid getting victimized by these scams.
Why the LGBT Community Should Watch Out for Fake Websites
As it’s easy for scam artists to hide behind their computer screens, they love creating fake sites to trick you into clicking on them and sharing the details that they need. These fake sites may contain links that ask you to reveal your personal and financial data in exchange for some crazy giveaways.
Others include malware to infect your computer or urge you to download malicious software to hack your financial and other personal information. All these things boil down to getting your bank account drained, so you should watch out for fake sites.
Common Fake Sites Targeting LGBT Community
Whether you’re using dating sites to find your potential partner or shopping online to prepare for Pride Month, you may encounter these types of fake websites that target the LGBT community:
Fake Security Sites
You may meet scammers on online dating apps telling you to register to this fake third-party site for security purposes. They will claim that they have been victims of assault, so they’re doing it to ensure it won’t happen again. However, if you click on the link, you will be required to provide your personal and financial information. Ignore these kinds of requests because these are only meant to steal your identity and money.
Fake Retail Sites
While you can shop for pride collection online, scammers go the extra mile to copy or create fake retail websites. They may use the same logo and copy the designs and layouts. However, if you look closely, you will figure out that the site is fake. You will spot awkward sentence constructions as well as spelling and grammar errors.
The domain name also looks suspicious. You may observe extra characters and words in the URL, like sales and discounts. If you see that the website hasn’t been there for that long, then it’s most likely fake. Contact information is also limited and shady, so check for these signs before purchasing any product.
Fake Charity Sites
Scammers’ favorite pastime is playing with your emotions. So, they will make you believe that your money will be put into good use and be donated to a charity that takes care of LGBT assault victims. They will even take the time to copy the websites of real charitable organizations. If you want to donate, make sure to contact the charity directly and perform thorough research.
Along with sending unsolicited emails that include strange links, scammers create fake sites to gain access to your credit card details and other personal information. Their stories revolve around problems with your online transactions, huge discounts, giveaways, and prizes for some contests that you don’t even remember participating in. While scammers have always used phishing, many still fall into the trap, so do not make the same mistake of opening any link or site that looks suspicious.
How To Avoid Fake Websites
To help you avoid fake websites and protect yourself from scammers, we’ve listed the following pointers:
- Look for spelling and grammar errors as well as awkward phrasing. Scammers may spend time creating fake sites, but the content doesn’t flow well and contains several typos.
- Check the “About” section and contact information. Suspicious sites do not offer sufficient company information. Contact details are also limited or non-existent.
- Refrain from opening suspicious links. If you receive emails or pop-up ads that include malicious links, skip them to avoid hacking or damage to your device.
- Do not enter your personal and financial details on any site. This will save you from losing your money or being a victim of identity theft.
- Directly contact charitable organizations for donations. Scammers will make you believe you’re supporting a good cause, although, in reality, they’re the ones who will benefit from your donation and not the assault victims.
- Perform comprehensive research. This includes reading different online reviews and verifying whether the company exists and has received consumer complaints.
- Report any fake website to the FTC.
Detect Fake Websites With Social Catfish
To make sure that you’re celebrating Pride Month without getting tricked and stressed by scammers, watch out for different types of fake websites that target the LGBT community. Once you think someone is trying to scam you, run a reverse search at Social Catfish to immediately find out their identity.