I Know a Scam When I See It, Do You?

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 16 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

In a world where most of the emails one receives are junk mail, full of scams and phishing attempts, how good are you at distinguishing the bad sites from the good?

McAfee SiteAdvisor has a Phishing Quiz where you can try out your skills at recognizing phishing sites. I was able to correctly get 10 out of 10, making me a Safety Guru with “practically clairvoyant knowledge of the Web.” The cool thing about McAfee’s test is that they show you how they know it’s a fake.

Give it a shot and see how you do. Here are my top three tips:

  1. Look at the URL. Also, just because it has paypal.com in it doesn’t mean that it’s a legitimate paypal site. For example, http://paypal.com.fergcorp.com/cgi-bin/update=_account. Real or fake? Why?
  2. Spelling. I don’t know why, but spam sites always have misspellings. Always. It’s like they’re trying to get caught. Also check how proper names are spelled. For example, Pay Pal versus PayPal. Which one is the correct spelling?
  3. Dear Customer. Every legitimate email you get or website you go to will always use your name. If you get a email that starts out ‘Dear customer’, dump it.

via Lifehacker