Scam sites start spoofing secure sites

Latest cons show increasing sophistication of cyber-criminals

Online shoppers are being warned to look out for fraudulent websites dressed up as real businesses following the launch of a police investigation into a spoof website scam.

A number of consumers have been duped by, which claimed to sell mobile phones at knock down prices. The site, which has now been closed, took consumers' money, but did not deliver the goods.

Shoppers are advised to buy only from secure sites (those with an address that starts https: ) using secure socket layer (SSL) encryption. But increasingly, fraudsters are spoofing these addresses. gave a 'genuine' address and conned people by carrying fake VeriSign and TRUSTe shopping site logos. The site had the golden padlock icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the page and had an internet address that began with 'https:'.

Its security certificate was genuine, but was hijacked from Yahoo and embedded onto the site.

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