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Q&A: Spotting a Spoof Site

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How can I tell if a website is real or spoofed?

Just because a site looks official, doesn’t mean the information on it is accurate. Some telltale signs of spoof or fake news and product websites include:

  • No clear source of information. The absence of an author byline, or scant information in the About Us and Contact Us pages could be indications of a fake site.
  • No supporting resources. Links or footnotes are not provided to studies, and reports mentioned as proof or links provided don’t support the article.
  • Odd grammatical errors, overuse of exclamations points and lack of proofreading in promotional emails and website pages suggest a lack of professional care, accuracy, and attention to detail.

If you’re not sure about the validity of a news site, check out claims on, Snopes, the Washington Post and PolitiFact.

If you are unsure about the validity of a product site, check out Consumer Reports or the Better Business Bureau to vet products and companies.


Some of the material contained in this article has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, financial, real estate and/or mortgage advice.