Scam Watch: Typosquatting

What is “Typosquatting?”

Typosquatting is a type of cybercrime in which a common misspelling of a popular web address is registered to a scammer.

Examples might be “” or “” (See more examples in graphic below.)

The goal of typosquatting is to trick users into visiting the wrong website, often with malicious intent.

Typosquatting is a growing problem, because it works. In 2021, the total number of phishing and counterfeit pages detected increased 1.5x over 2020 to more than 10.5 million — and it continues to grow. The average number of phishing and counterfeit pages daily increased to over 29,000.”

Typosquatters register domain names that are similar to the domain names of popular websites. They then create websites that users end up visiting instead. These sites may mimic an alarm on your computer and ask you to call a number, or they may look identical to the website you intended to visit — but they’re a not.

Typosquatters often use a variety of techniques to make their websites look like the real company website. They may use the same logo, design, and color scheme as the legitimate websites. They may also use the exact same keywords and phrases.

Typosquatting can be dangerous. When users visit a typosquatting website, they may be tricked into entering personal information, downloading malware, or being redirected to a malicious website.

There are a few things you can do to avoid typosquatting:

  • Always double-check the domain name of a website before entering any personal information or clicking on any links.
  • Be careful when typing domain names into your web browser. Take your time and make sure that you are typing the domain name correctly.
  • Use a secure browser that can help you identify typosquatting websites.Safari is a very safe browser to use on a Mac or iPhone. Google Chrome also uses technologies to help block these types of websites, and allows you to enter a website to check its validity here.

If you believe that you have found a typosquatting website, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the following steps:

  1. Go to the FTC website. .
  2. Click on the “Report Fraud” link.
  3. Select “Phishing” from the “Type of Fraud” drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the domain name of the typosquatting website.
  5. Provide any other information that you have about the typosquatting website.

Typosquatting is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on users. By being careful and taking steps to avoid typosquatting, you can help to protect yourself from this type of cybercrime.


Want to learn more about scams? This tip about fake infected computer scams is a popular one. 

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