How To Spot a Fake Website Or Phishing Attempt This Holiday Season.
Holidays are coming. There are less than two weeks left until Black Friday and Cyber â€‹â€‹Monday. For retailers, this is the most beautiful time of the year, with revenue soaring as shoppers try to find the best deals and finish their Christmas shopping early (as they always say they’re going to do it, but somehow never succeed). p>
Unfortunately, this time of year is also a favorite spot for scammers. When there are many and a limited number of products, consumers may not be too careful about whether a website is real or not.
Scammers use this to their advantage to create a fake website that can trick someone at first sight (and sometimes even more thorough scrutiny). All they have to do is enter their credit card details and they will go racing. p>
The best defense against scams and phishing attempts this holiday season is to know the signs. Knowledge will be your most powerful weapon. Here’s what to look for when starting your Christmas shopping to get out the other side while maintaining your identity, bank account and sanity.
Verify the URL and sender
It’s very easy to create a website that looks like a real one. It is not uncommon to come across a website or receive an email asking you to confirm certain information or log into your account to investigate suspicious activity.
The email may look like it came from a trusted source. You can read it half a dozen times and find nothing superfluous. However, there are two things to keep in mind.
First, the URL they provide is not necessarily the same as the one they send you to. Here’s an example. Open the link below in a new window.
http: //www.google.com p>
Surprise! The URL can be written, but it only takes a few seconds to direct the hyperlink elsewhere. Phishing attempts use this to direct customers to a fake login page that steals their user IDs and passwords for retail sites, banks, etc.
Another trick is a domain name that has a valid domain name attached to it along with a fake part, making the domain completely fake. Below is an example. It may seem very easy to find, but on a mobile device, the address bar usually displays only the first 10-15 characters of the domain name, that is, the last part will be hidden.
The second thing to remember is that any site (which you should use anyway) will log in through a secure protocol. Take a look at your address bar. See “HTTP” at the very beginning of the URL? It is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. When you enter the site, make sure it says HTTPS. The added letter means safe . This means that the data sent through the website is encrypted.
Hover your mouse over the hyperlink and look at the destination. As practice shows, no legitimate website or bank will ever send you an email asking for your username and password. This is almost always a sign of a phishing attempt. If anything seems suspicious, please contact the organization directly and ask before submitting.
Finally, check the sender of the email. Often it will have a name or something like customer support. However, if you look at a real email address, it’s often something like [email protected]kemailprovider.com – clearly a fake account.
Most phishing emails are variants of each other. The easiest way to check if something is legitimate is to look for the sender and a few suggestions. Just copy and paste the text with the word “scam” into Google and see what results it returns. The chances that you are the only one to become the target of fraud are minimal; most of these attempts come from farms and go to thousands of users at once.
Many phishing emails will alert you that your account is about to expire, or that you need to sign in again or enter your billing information, often apologizing for the inconvenience. Most institutions will not ask for this information by email, but instead ask you to verify your account.
Guide your in-house English teacher and look for spelling and grammar mistakes
You may come across a website with great suggestions, but you will notice that something seems to be wrong, namely the spelling and grammar are terrible. Many bogus websites and fraudulent emails have this in common.
Correct spelling and grammar is a key aspect of a presentation, and correct presentation is a key aspect of professionalism. Websites do their best to ensure that readers can understand their message.
If you find a website with terrible spelling and grammar that asks you for any personal information, it is almost guaranteed to be a fake website scam. The only exception to this rule might be some amateur blogs that share found deals that direct you to Amazon.
These blogs can use affiliate links, which will earn them a commission if you buy a product at no extra cost to you. Amateur sites may not always have the best spelling or grammar, but as long as they don’t ask you for credit card details or other personal information, they should be safe.
Find Very Good Deals To Be Real
Online stores exist to make money. If the trades seem to lose money on them, they will probably do so, which means that the trade is most likely fake. Sometimes you might still get an item, just something inferior than you thought. The Wish website is a great example of this.
Despite their popularity, Wish products are often fake or of significantly lower quality. The website is not a scam or phishing attempt, but it is not entirely honest either.
Pay close attention to the offers on any site you visit. Generally, you should only shop online from certified reputable retailers. Sites like Amazon, Website, Best Buy, and the like are usually safe. Brand specific sites are often a good bet as well. But if you find a site you’ve never heard of, offering a $ 100 iPad Pro, stay away.
Joseph Heller said, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not following you.” Cybercrime is growing steadily from year to year, and it is impossible to track down every new scam. Companies lost $ 12.5 billion billion from online fraud between 2013 and 2018, according to the FBI. Almost 91% of all phishing attempts start with email; Unfortunately, many people receive sales notifications via email.
Be alert and trust your intuition. Once you know what to look for, most scammers are ridiculously easy to identify.