Security Alert: External Search Engine Results Linking to Fake Safe Software Phishing Websites

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated


Exercise Care when Web Searching to Avoid Phishing Scams and Protect Your Information

1. Details of the scam

Fraudsters are impersonating Safe Software by creating genuine-looking phishing websites and scheming ways to lure users into clicking malicious links.

Cybercriminals may also purchase advertising space to promote their phishing sites so that they appear at the top of search engine results. Unsuspecting victims may click the first or second link that appears to them, assuming that it is a trustworthy website managed by Safe Software or our authorized FME Partners.

2. What should you know

These fake links may look deceivingly close to the legitimate Safe Software URLs ( or Clicking a malicious link will redirect the victim to a phishing website, which may possibly result in the victim disclosing sensitive information.

Red flags to look out for:

  • The URL in the search result has numbers, dashes, or spelling mistakes.
  • The search result has text claiming to offer free software licenses and does not reference our official charitable license program or our authorized FME Partners.
  • The search result contains the keywords you are looking for, but clicking the link takes you to a URL that does not belong to Safe Software or our Partners.
  • The fake websites may appear exactly like existing or prior Safe Software websites, even impersonating our old branding.


3. What should you do

  • Go directly to the official website.
    • When in doubt, type or into your browser. The official Safe Software website has many resources that will direct you to the product or assistance you need.
    • Note that some pages may have redirects in place (e.g., however, they always stay on a website.
    • We work with various Partners around the world that offer FME and FME-related services. Our Partners operate their own websites and may use Safe Software and FME logos and branding in addition to their own. If you are unsure if a website is run by a trusted Partner of Safe, please see our Partner Locator list.
  • Pay attention before and after you click on links.
    • Before entering your personal information, verify the URL is a genuine website. Keep in mind that scammers can create very realistic-looking fake websites.
  • Exercise caution when filling out forms.
    • ​​​​​​​Never sign up for products or services without verifying that you are on the correct site.
  • Don’t click on links in emails or text messages.
    • Take care when clicking on any link, even those appearing at the top of search engine results. Float a cursor over the URL before you click or enter credentials.

Example of a fake Safe Software website shown in search engines (the domains in the images have been obscured for security reasons):

Example of a fake website masquerading as Safe Software using the old branding: 

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