As I recently indicated in a recent “scam of the day,” technologically savvy scammers have used their knowledge of the algorithms used by Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines to have the phony websites of the scammers come to the top of the list when you look for a legitimate website. Recently in North Carolina, Lloyd Scher wanting to renew a driver’s license went online to get the phone number of the Deparment of Motor Vehicles of North Carolina and the search engine took him to a scammers website where he would have been charged for getting free forms. Fortunately, Scher recognized that it was a scam and did not fall for the scam.
Whenever you go to a government website, it should end with “gov.” This particular website ended with “com.” Don’t provide personal information on line unless you are sure that the website is legitmate and never provide information that you think the website should not need. Also never provide personal information unless the domain name starts with “https.” The key is the letter “s” which indicates that the information you provide is being encrypted. Trust me. You can’t trust anyone. Just because a search engine brings up a website does not mean that it is legitimate.