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Beware of website spoofing

Internet scammers have found a new target: hospital websites.

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), at least one hospital website has been spoofed recently, leading the organization to issue a warning to all hospitals. All hospitals are advised “to police their website domain names to ensure that they are not victims of website spoofing for fraudulent or deceitful purposes.”

While many people are aware of spoofing — the creation of fake websites that bear a striking resemblance to a legititmate site — most people assume that they can trust information from healthcare providers and hospitals, and may be less cautious when perusing a hospital website. Advise patients and family members to be alert for spelling and grammatical errors that may indicate a spoofed site.

The AHA recommends that hospital personnel who suspect spoofing should send “a strongly worded cease and desist letter” and seek legal counsel.

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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