Google launches a new website to educate people about online scams
Hackers are more active during the COVID-19 outbreak than normal routine, considering which Google has introduced a new website to assist people in identifying and preventing internet fraud.
— Digitaliworld (@digitaliworld) June 1, 2020
Scamspotter is a website that would inform people regarding how to detect bogus stimulus checks, fake vaccine offers, or other false COVID-19 information. The common techniques adopted by fraudsters are also detected on the website e.g. romance scammers requesting to buy them a gift card or send money.
The website is a collaboration between Google and Cybercrime Support Network, a nonprofit company that assists the victims of internet scams and fraud. Quizzes related to common fraud situations are also available on the internet to aid people in identifying scams, like receiving a message about winning a contest even if a user has not taken part in one.
According to Google, the fraudsters have alarmingly exploited the outbreak. Federal Trade Commission announced that during the COVID-19 epidemic, Americans have approximately lost $40 million to various online scams. It is further predicted that in 2020, more than $2 billion will be stolen through Coronavirus-related or other online scams.
Federal Trade Commission also informed regarding the recent contact tracing scam through text message, a technique used for tracking the spread of the virus. Scammers ask personal information including security number, bank account, or at times credit card number.
The aim of the website is to enlighten and aware the elderly who are more susceptible to scams and lose a greater amount of money as compared to younger citizens, according to Google. The website also urges young people to spread the information to the senior people around them.
Vint Cerf, Google Vice President, stated that it is crucial for everyone to learn to identify the scams for which everyone should put in the effort.