One thing that has always amazed me is that people who steal from other people in creative ways would probably be very successful if they directed their efforts into an honest endeavor. One glaring example of that is the amount of cyber-squatting that has surrounded the launch of ObamaCare.
On Wednesday the Washington Examiner posted an article about the number of cyber-squatters attempting to capitalize on the launch of ObamaCare.
The article explains:
For instance, there is a website — www.obama-care.us — that brands itself as part of the “Obamacare enrollment team,” directs people to an “Obamacare enrollment form” and asks users for their name, address, Social Security number and other contact information. According to a counter at the bottom of the page, more than 3,000 people have visited obama-care.us.
This website does not actually enable people to enroll in Obamacare. It was registered with GoDaddy.com on Sept. 2 — less than a month before the official launch of the health care exchange websites — according to who.is, a website that provides information on internet domains and their owners.
The practice of setting up websites with names that are similar to high-profile pages is known as cyber-squatting.
What happens as a result of this cyber-squatting is that some unsuspecting person who thinks they have accessed the government healthcare website types in all their pertinent financial information and then an identity thief takes all their money. Most of the younger generation is pretty savvy about cyber security, but the older baby boomers may not be. This is dangerous.
The article explains how a website host should avoid the confusion:
To prevent cyber-squatting, professional website owners typically purchase domain names that are similar to the main page.
For instance, former Senate candidate Sharron Angle wanted to make sure that people who misspelled her first name by using only one “R” would still reach her website.
So she bought the domain name — sharonangle.com — and the page automatically redirects users to the proper website.
For the same reason, the owners of washingtonexaminer.com also own washingtonexaminer.net.
“I was shocked to find out that they have not picked up any of these other top-level domains,” the cybersecurity expert said.
He also provided the Washington Examiner with a list of 221 websites that he identified, using proprietary software, as cyber-squatters taking advantage of the healthcare.gov rollout — websites such as healthcarer.com — and another 499 that he identified as squatting on state exchange websites.
Either the government was not interested in protecting the American people from fraud, or they were uninformed of the problem. Either way, it looks as if the people who put together the ObamaCare website were totally incompetent.