How to spot fake sites

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Chances are, you’ve come across some fake website since you started using the internet. Maybe they were even websites created to steal personal data or money?

Information relating to money

These kinds of fake sites are around the time and pose a significant threat. I mean the fake websites of banks, payment systems or other financial institutions. Your adventure with them may begin with receiving a surprising or disturbing e-mail informing you that your credit has been approved, a suspicious transaction has been registered on your account, you have received some payment, your card has been blocked, etc. Usually such a message does not contain too many details, and often, for more information, you have to click on a link, enter your details, password and card number. However, there is a small but quite important detail. The link provided in the email redirects you to a bogus website. It looks the same as the real thing (or very similar to it), although the information you provide there, will be sent directly to cybercriminals not to the bank. This type of scam is called phishing and is a very common method of extorting money online. Fraudsters also create fake pages from popular online stores, bookstores, and popular websites (Facebook, Gmail, iCloud, etc.).

Phishing emails and pages can be unmasked relatively easily – you just need to pay close attention to specific details:

  • Typically, phishing emails do not contain the proper greeting associated with formal letters, with the first and last names appearing directly,
  • the message does not contain any details, such as account and card numbers,
  • the message always contains a link that you should click on for more information or to fix your problems. Usually there is also a danger that you will get in trouble if you don’t act quickly.

If you remember these simple criteria, two-thirds of the phishing letters sent to you will end up in the trash. If you have any doubts about the content of such a message – open the browser and manually enter the address of the bank / shop / service from which you received the notification. To be sure that you are on a secure site, check if there is a green padlock in the browser bar – it means that the secure HTTPS connection is active and that this site is actually operated by the company you are visiting.