The number of fake and copycat websites and online scams have increased dramatically in the past couple of years. Here are some tips below to help you spot these fakes and protect your personal and work identity and information. 

Top tips 

Check any misspellings in the web address 

Some fake websites use a web address that is similar to the official one e.g. or 

Beware of some paid search engine adverts 

These adverts appear at the top of search result pages and can sometimes promote fake sites. Quite often, the real website is the first or second link that appears below the ads. 

Do not be fooled by official-looking web addresses 

Even if web addresses end with .org, it does not guarantee that it is genuine. 

Check if it is secure (https) 

Check to see if the web address starts with ‘https’. This means that information sent is encrypted to protect personal details. These secure sites will also have a padlock in your browser’s address bar. So always look out for the lock. You can check if a site is secure using digisafe’s checker tool.

Read the homepage of the website 

Spend some time reading the homepage before filling out any forms. Some fake websites may even say they are not affiliated with the official body. You can also look at the content and check for things like: 

  • A privacy policy 
  • Accessibility statement 
  • Contact information 
  • Correct spelling and grammar 

These are often good signs that the website is genuine.

Reporting a fake Imperial site 

If you have found a site that is claiming to be Imperial College London and you suspect it may be a fake, then contact the ICT Service Desk. 

Other useful information