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Website Spoofing: How to Identify and Prevent It

What is website spoofing?
Website spoofing, also referred to as domain spoofing, is a common form of phishing that occurs when an attacker creates a website that looks similar to the original. The user is then tricked into believing they are interacting with a trustworthy website when it is in fact a spoofed website.

For example, if you see a website resembling but has a different domain name like or – it’s a trick!

Detecting a spoofed website can be extremely difficult due to the company’s domain appearing to be legitimate at first glance, but a closer look may reveal some inaccuracies such as a W is actually two Vs, or a lowercase L is actually a capital I. Attackers can also create fake websites that look identical to legitimate ones (such as online banking or e-commerce websites), including logos and branding, to deceive the victim into providing sensitive information. They can then send phishing emails or use social engineering tactics to trick users into clicking on a link that takes them to the fake website. Once there, the user may be prompted to enter sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or personal information.

It's important to note that it’s not unusual to see website spoofing and email spoofing used in tandem because a link to the spoofed website is usually located within a fraudulent email or text.

Tips to Help You Spot Spoofed Websites

  • Check the email header information. Look in the “Received from” field and “Received-SPF” fields. If the domains displayed in these fields don’t match what you know about the supposed sender, the email is probably spoofed.
  • If the domain appears to be correct, check that other information matches. For example, if the email seems to come from a corporate headquarters located in Texas, make sure any area codes in phone numbers are from the correct city. Hover over any hyperlinks to see if they lead where you expect. Additionally, the correct business name should always appear right before the “.com”.
  • Do not click links within the message or website. Instead, search for the entity and click on the link in the search results.

Website spoofing is a serious threat that can cause significant harm to individuals and businesses. If you see a website resembling but has a different domain name – beware! Website spoofing is happening every day and it’s sophisticated.

For more on how to protect yourself and you finances, check out our fraud resources.

Have questions about scams? Please let us know.

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