Google launches website to help people avoid online scams

From CNET: Google on Thursday unveiled a website aimed at teaching people how to spot and avoid online scams, as digital hoaxes hit an uptick amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The website,, tries to show people how to identify things such as bogus stimulus checks, fake vaccine offers, or other false medical information. The site also highlights certain patterns that are typical of hoaxes, like a romance scammer asking a target to wire them money or buy them a gift card.

Google launched the tool in partnership with the Cybercrime Support Network, a nonprofit focused on helping victims of online fraud. The website includes a quiz that runs through common scam scenarios, like getting a message about winning a trip to Hawaii, even if the recipient didn't enter a contest.

The effort comes as scammers have exploited the pandemic with "alarming speed," Google said. Americans have lost more than $40 million because of COVID-19-related scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The agency projects more than $2 billion will be lost due to scams across the board this year, coronavirus-related or otherwise.

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