Make it a point to ‘check and verify web addresses

I was interviewed by The Star Newspaper on the issue of fake websites-

He said a fake website was usually poorly designed and used low resolution images.

“Some of the contents are also too good to be true.

“Some would also request for information such as login or password, which they normally do not ask,’’ he added.

“Your browser or a good virus scanner would also warn that the website you are visiting is a suspicious site,” said Foong.

Foong said those operating fake websites could be punished under, among others, the Penal Code and Trade Marks Act 1976.

The article did not reproduce my entire interview. For completeness, I will elaborate the further points above. Other than the above points to spot a fake website, one can spot a fake website by first looking at the URL. If the URL of the page is suspicious, the page is likely to be fake.

In respect of the offence, it may amount to cheating under s. 415 of the Penal Code. The website owner may also initiate an action for trade mark infringement and passing off against the operator. If the design, logo or image of the website owner is used, this could amount to copyright infringement.

In order to take action against these unknown websites operators, the website owner may file a complaint with the domain registrar or website hosting provider, or even those advertising the fake pages e.g. Facebook.

The website owner should also warn the public about the existence of these websites.

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