Website scams that target small businesses continue to run rampant. With the perpetual growth and development of the internet and web-based platforms, cyber thieves continue to take advantage of businesses with a variety of creative scams.
Whether in the form of emails, pop-ups or even an invoice sent directly to your mailing address, the list of scams seem to be never ending. So how do you know what is real and what isn’t?
Here are a few of the common website scams and how to avoid them so you can protect yourself and your business.
Email Phishing Scam
Email phishing is one of the most common forms of website scams. While it can come in many different forms, one that is often seen is an email from a person claiming you are using one of their copyrighted photos/images on your website.
They often threaten to take legal action if you don’t remove their copyrighted images immediately. This attempt usually is enough to persuade a startled business owner into clicking on the link that they provided to quickly resolve the issue.
Usually the goal of email scams like this are to get you to click a link, which either downloads malware to your computer or takes you to a website where they want you to enter payment or personal information.
If you hired a credible company to create a professionally designed website, then you can probably rest assured that they followed the proper protocols for copyright protection.
If you are still unsure, go ahead and reach out to them to confirm and make sure that everything is okay.
Here is a great link that shares a little more information about this particular type of scam: https://thewebforbusiness.com/its-illicitly-to-use-stolen-images/
Statement or Invoice in the Mail
Another frequent scam related to owning your website comes in the form of an invoice or statement that is mailed directly to your home or your place of business.
A good rule of thumb is if you aren’t familiar with the source, do not pay it!
Sometimes it comes as a website domain renewal or something related to an “important renewal” for your website.
Here is an example of an invoice one of our client’s recently received:
This particular situation is actually a form of solicitation where the sender is trying to get you to pay for a service, when in reality you actually have no obligation to them.
You can read more about this particular scam here: https://bizmktg.com/should-i-pay-us-domain-authority-for-an-annual-website-domain-listing/
Since domain and site hosting is usually a once a year renewal, business owners may find themselves not remembering the specific website where their renewals should be paid.
For more information about common domain name scams, here is a great resource: https://www.networkdepot.com/domain-name-scams/
Again, if you are unsure of the source of the invoice, be sure to reach out to your web support specialists and they can help guide you.
Tips to Avoid Common Website Scams
The internet is vast and constantly changing. While these are only a few examples of common scams to keep an eye out for, it is so important to learn how to decipher what is real and what is not in order to protect yourself and your business.
Always remember these four tips if you aren’t familiar with the source:
- Don’t click on any links.
- Google the exact wording of the email or letter (or the company or email address) to see if others are running into the same scam.
- Don’t pay anything.
- Always check with your site care provider before responding to a potential scam. A single contact company managing it all can guard you against being deceived.
Let us be your trusted advisor.
At Open Sky, we are constantly watching the latest updates in the industry so we can better educate our clients to confidently navigate the digital world.
From web design to digital marketing, we love to help set our clients up for success by empowering them to make the best choices online with continued education and support. You don’t have to do it alone. Let us help!
Enroll in our Essential Site Care plan that will provide a monthly report with a summary of all the companies you are using to keep your site up and running. This is one of the best ways to gain confidence knowing that you have the professionals on your side – so you know which bills to pay and which to ignore.
Need a trusted advisor to lean on for your online marketing and website related needs? Contact us today for a FREE 15 minute consultation!
Do you have a website but you’re not sure if it is effective?
Download our FREE WORKBOOK to help you pinpoint the areas of your website that need some attention. It is filled with practical, actionable steps you can apply today!
- Why You Need a Professionally Designed Website
- Website vs. Social Media – Why You Shouldn’t Depend on Social Media Alone
- Developing a Content Marketing Strategy – 3 Ways to Increase Your Reach with Less Effort
- Hiring a Ghostwriter -Spend Less Time Creating Content and More Time Running Your Business
- How To Build An Email List – 7 Tips to Grow Your Online Network