David Holman of First Cyber Security has issued a warning that it can take just a few seconds for fraudsters to set up copycat websites designed to sell fake goods with some even adding false security certificates to deceive shoppers. Andrew Garbett, associate at international law firm Eversheds, comments:

“We are seeing a growing number of fake websites of various types. One troubling feature has been that they do not always simply offer goods for sale but have more subtle ways of defrauding innocent customers. Some relate to scams involving non-existent job vacancies and are aimed at getting overseas workers to send money for visa and admin ‘expenses’.

“For those businesses which are unfortunate enough to be affected by a fake website it is essential to react quickly. Contacting the ISPs which host the websites and related email addresses can result in the site being taken down or blocked within hours – an action which in practice may solve the problem for both the genuine company and the consumer. If there is still concern about the domain name used on the fake site being very similar to that of the genuine company, then other remedies may be available but are more expensive and not as quick. Pressure on the ISP is the fastest and cheapest course.”