Safe Browsing: Avoiding Fake Sites
What are fake sites?
Fake websites — those that purport to offer a service, but are in fact, a scam — are a major threat when browsing online. A current trend is for poachers to create fake websites that mimic a legitimate service associated with a known event, such as registration and housing for Kidney Week, but are in fact not affiliated with ASN and the services they offer may be fraudulent.
How can I tell if I am on a real site?
Some of these sites can be quite convincing — they may use polished, modern web design, and some even appropriate logos and assets from the real ASN website, so it may be hard to distinguish a fake site from a real one at first glance. However, there are two key pieces of information that the scammers cannot fake:
1) Read the URL in the Address Bar: Domain Verification
Official ASN websites related to Kidney Week registration and housing will have a domain name that is a subdomain of asn-online.org. For example, register.asn-online.org, housing.asn-online.org, or internationalgrouphousing.asn-online.org. By examining the URL that is in your browser's address bar, you can quickly determine if you are on an official ASN domain.Firefox Microsoft Edge Google Chrome
2) Look for the Lock Symbol: HTTPS and Certificate Verification
All official ASN sites that accept financial transactions will be secured via an SSL/TLS certifcate and will have "https://" (rather than just "http://") at the start of the address. This indicates that your connection is secure and any information that is transmitted will be encrypted. When your browser detects that you are on a secure connection, with a valid certificate installed that matches the domain, then it will display a lock symbol near the address bar. You can then click the lock to obtain additional information about the security state and certificate.
I'm unsure about a site - what should I do?
If you are unsure about a site — even a little — then please submit a technical support request and an ASN staff member will personally look up the site in question and verify whether or not it is safe for you to proceed. If the site in question does turn out to be a fake site, ASN will also take action with the domain registrar and hosting company and petition to have the site revoked, to prevent users from falling victim to this type of scam.