Be Aware of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Scams

Castlepoint Blog: Financial Planning Basics, Risk Management & Insurance Planning, The Castlepoint Team, The Point
March 15, 2024

We wanted to give you a heads-up about some sneaky scams making the rounds, especially ones that can target your investment accounts. But keep in mind, that these scams can also impact your general web searches.

  • Scammers are getting crafty with something called search engine optimization (SEO). Basically, they’re making fake websites that show up when you search for trusted companies like Schwab or Fidelity.
  • These sites are designed to look official, and because they’re at the top of the search results, it’s easy to think they’re safe. This phishing tactic is very effective: after all, not every user will scrutinize a search result to ensure the link they want to click is legit. 
  • When you click on one of these fake sites and try to log in with your info, you might get an error message telling you to call a hotline for help. If you call the number, the scammer on the other end will try to scare you by saying there’s been a security breach and someone’s trying to steal your money. They might even ask you to download some sketchy software onto your device.
  • The whole point of this scam is to get access to your device so they can do more bad stuff, like stealing your money or even your identity.

Here’s a quick tip to help you stay one step ahead of scammers: when you’re looking for important websites like Schwab or Fidelity, it’s best to skip the Google and Safari searches. Instead, type in the website address, like “ or”, directly into your browser URL bar. Or better yet, use their mobile app for added security. Another handy trick is to save the correct address of all your favorite websites in your browser’s bookmarks and stick to the official websites of the companies you trust.

If something feels off, trust your instincts, and double-check before sharing any personal info.  For more information regarding fraud prevention visit

The content of this article is developed from sources believed to provide accurate information. The information is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. All expressions of opinion are subject to change. This content is distributed for informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products or services. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Index performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.

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