A spoof website is a site that uses dishonest designs to trick users into thinking that it represents some other uninvolved party. Spoof websites commonly imitate the sites of banks and other official businesses or government agencies, often in order to fraudulently collect sensitive financial or personal information from users.
This term can refer to a site that is a parody or satire, although this use is less common.
Spoof websites are commonly considered a form of phishing, which is hacking or building IT structures with the purpose of stealing data. Commonly, a spoof website will use logos, impressive text and visual design or other means to effectively imitate the style of a legitimate enterprise or group. Users will often enter financial details or other data, trusting that they are being sent to the right place.
Hackers can use extremely sophisticated methods to deceive end users. Methods like URL cloaking or domain forwarding can hide some of the biggest clues that a site may not be legitimate. Experts recommend that users only access financial sites and other sensitive sites directly through a main page or other verified avenue in order to avoid being cheated by a spoof website.