The FBI would like to bring awareness to a scam that has been up and running for the past 3 years. Victims of this scam can have everything from name and address to social security number and birth certificate stolen from them. Here’s how the scammers do it: First they put together websites that look similar to official government websites. Then they make sure that these fake "government" websites will pop up as the first result on Google. They can then lie back and wait.
As soon as someone comes along, looking to use a government service (to get a replacement social security card, for example), the victim will encounter the fake "government" website and may enter their personal information into it as directed, thus supplying the scammer with every detail necessary to steal the victim’s identity. As if to add insult to injury, these fake "government" websites may then also request a $30 - $200 fee in order to “process the requested government service.” Any money sent will, of course, be pocketed by the fraudster. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? There are, however, several steps you can take in order to prevent something like this from happening to you.
First, double-check the name of the website before entering any information. Remember, genuine government sites will end with ".gov" and not ".com" or ".biz", etc. If you are still unsure, simply google the website’s name along with the word “reviews”. You can find the scoop on almost any website this way. If you find that the website in question is a third-party site or is operating from outside the USA, steer clear!