I haven't gone back through previous videos to verify I've never said this before, but this may be the first scam website that impressed me. If more scammers go to this effort to create a well crafted website I'll have to start scoring websites on a "stars" or "out of ten" system. Now, that's a thought. Internetek could be the first scam "rating" company.
As far as scams go, this is probably one of the most devastating I've seen. This one isn't so much a money grab, as an entire theft of someone's identity. I'm actually hesitant to call this one a scam but call it "identity harvesting".
The purpose behind this scam, like all scams, is financial gain. Whatever the scammers can get from you and put into their pockets. Normally, it's a quick scam where they grab your credit card information or convince you to send them pictures of gift cards. Unlike those scams, this one goes much further. The scammers are gathering enough information to open accounts in your name, ruin your credit, and put you in legal trouble for years to come. Whenever someone asks for information like your Social Security Number, birthdate, or mother's maiden name, paranoia is very much warranted and healthy.
How Do You Avoid Getting Scammed?
One should keep a healthy level of paranoia on the Internet. If something feels even the slightest bit off, it's best to get off that site, stop talking to that person claiming to be your bank, or hang up that call. Call the company or person directly using known-good information or drive to the company and verify things. It's better to spend twenty minutes checking it out and feeling silly than days or months trying to repair the damage.
Educating yourself on scam methods and how to identify shady websites/texts/calls/etc is in your best interest and actively hurts the scammers. Internetek, as a company, would rather you spend five minutes on a call with us verifying something than paying our hourly rate to repair the damage. We believe in this so much that we release these alerts and videos so they can be learned from and shared with everyone to prevent even one person from getting scammed.
What Do You Do If You Get Scammed?
Immediately call your bank and insurance company. They have fraud departments that can take actions you can't and limit or mitigate any damage. The faster you call them, the better. Scammers know they're working in a short window so they'll move as fast as they can to clean out your accounts.
Identifying Traits of This Scam
- Broken text "C.H.A.S.E" to avoid SMS text filtering. The cell phone carriers are getting better and preventing these scams but they're still years behind mail filtering. This is why scams are shifting to voice and SMS/text.
- Link in the text doesn't go to the company website. If Chase were contacting you, they would link you to Chase.com.
- The website redirects you to another website that isn't the company website. In this example, it sent us to PublicVM.com. If the business were using a redirector or link-shortener, they would send you to their business website.
- SSL certificate doesn't match the business. This one is more technical, but it's a great way to verify the identity of the website. If you're not sure how to do this, it's near the end of the video or we can show you