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Could Check-a-website tool stop you from falling prey to fake sites?

Could this check-a-website tool stem the tide of fake sites? New scam service expected to stop thousands falling victim to fraud every year

  • Criminals increasingly using internet to target victims via spoofed websites
  • These websites are designed to steal the financial and personal details of users  
  • New ‘check-a-website’ tool allows people to check a website before they use it 

Thousands of people could be prevented from falling victim to online scams every year, thanks to the launch of a revolutionary fraud detection tool.

Cyber security awareness website, Get Safe Online, together with fraud prevention service, Cifas, have unveiled an online feature that will allow people to check if a website is safe to use before clicking on it.

It is hoped that the ‘check-a-website’ tool will help prevent Britons from falling foul of the numerous fake websites that litter the web.

The scamdemic: The latest data from Cifas has revealed that there was a 43 per cent increase in cases involving identity fraud.

With criminals are increasingly turning to the internet to target victims, spoofed websites are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

These websites are designed to steal the financial and personal details of users – which are often then used towards identity theft.

There was a 43 per cent rise in cases involving identity fraud filed to the National Fraud Database during the first three months of 2022 when compared to the same period last year, with nine in 10 instances of identity fraud taking place online.

Mike Haley, chief executive for Cifas added: ‘This is a great tool for aiding consumers in the continuing fight against online fraud.

‘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.’

How does it work?

Check-a-website is an online tool that is already live in both the Netherlands and Portgual.

It helps determine whether a website is likely to be legitimate or a scam before you visit it.

Users simply type in the address of the website they want to check, and then this provides a trust score that will appear within seconds.

It does this by using an algorithm based on more than 40 data sources as well as thousands of reports of malicious websites from law enforcement agencies, regulators and consumer brands every week.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online added: ‘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. 

‘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.’