SECURITY TO THE CORE

Spot Fake Websites With “Common Sense”


Nowadays a popular method used by Phishers and Scammers (Scam artists who try to get you to reveal your sensitive information like Username, Passwords, Credit Card details, Bank Accounts, etc.) to scam you is to hire a web developer to create a fake web site to do all of the phisher’s dirty work. Because it’s relatively very simple for a excellent web developer to copy another web site, it’s easy to be fooled with a fake web site. These fake sites are even more convincing when you see the name of your bank or some other online services in the URL (commonly know as the web-address, or “web site”); but there are simple ways to spot a fake web site, and in my opinion anyone who uses the Internet for any purpose should must be aware of the typical signs that website is fake. So today i came up here with few things to look at before inputting any personal or sensitive information into a website.

Common URL set ups

All HTTP URLs (i.e. your basic web site address) follows a common format:

http://domain.tld/

For example:
http://original.com/

The “domain” is the actual domain name (e.g. “original”) and the “tld“, or top level domain, is the “com” portion.

The actual domain and the tld (e.g. “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.cc”, “.in”, etc.) will always be the last parts of the URL before the first single forward slash (“/”) or a question mark (“?”) in an Internet address aka Web address.

It’s important to note that a domain can have sub-domains before the “domain.tld“, such as my own https://technonxt.wordpress.com, but only the real domain owners will be able to use the domain.tld format as described above to build/use their web site.

Spotting a Fake/Scam web site with “Common Sense”

Spotting a fake URL is as simple as looking for the domain.tld (in the right place) in the URL. If your bank is Original, then you would expect to see http://www.original.com; but if you saw http://www.original.com.fakeurl.com/ then you know that you’re not really on http://www.original.com;  you’re on http://www.fakeurl.com.

Examples of valid original.com URLs:

* http://www.original.com/
* http://original.com/
* http://blog.original.com
* http://www.original.com/blog/
* http://www.original.com?string

Examples of invalid original.com URLs:

* http://www.original.fakeurl.com/
* http://original.fakeurl.com/
* http://www.example.com.fakeurl.com?string

Did you see how all of the valid URLs have original.com before the first single forward slash and/or the first question mark? That’s the key to knowing what is real and what is a scam. So from now onwards use your “Common Sense” while floating around the Internet.

Good luck !!

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3 responses

  1. Mike

    This is really a great advice…

    June 11, 2010 at 19:08

  2. Corno

    Thanks for the info

    June 12, 2010 at 19:56

  3. John Markus

    Possibly the most amazing page I read in my life…

    December 12, 2010 at 05:49

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