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How to identify phishing

Updated on January 25, 2010

What is phishing?

Phishing (pronounced fishing) is a way that fraudulent companies and scammers use to steal important information from unsuspecting people online. The main concept of phishing is by using fake emails and websites based on legitimate companies. The email/websites that will be used in a phishing attempt will look legitimate, but will lead to a website that has nothing to do with the actual company that it is imitating. An example and constantly used phishing technique is with online banking. They will send you a legitimately sounding email or redirect you to a legitimate looking website and ask for you to enter your bank credentials. The message will sound urgent, which will lead you to responding to the email. Once you enter your personal information/log in information in the website, you will be lead to a page that will most likely say "thank you". Congratulations, you have been phished!

Lucky for you, there are some things that will help you identify phishing attempts. Read the information within this article to protect your financial information from phishers who are seeking to steal your money and personal information to use it for their own evil purposes.



This is one way on how to identify phishing attempts. Although this will not always occur within this situation, its good to understand that this is one of the things that phishers commonly leave that will help the victims identify this as a phishing attempt. These misspellings can occur anywhere within the email message or the webpage itself. It may show up within the url of the website, the content on the webpage, or within the email message.

For those websites that do not have any misspellings, you can always find someway of identifying it as a phishing attempt. There is more information below that will help protect your financial/personal information from phishers.

How to identify phishing attempts via email example
How to identify phishing attempts via email example

How to identify fraudulent links

This is another way on how to identify phishing attempts. Some webpages that are phishing sites may not have the web browser on the application (I.E, Firefox, Chrome, etc.). If a webpage doesn't show the url bar, its a strong possibility that its a fraudulent link leading to a phishing site. The quickest way to view the link is by right-clicking the link and checking out the properties. Looking at the link, you should be able to tell whether or not the link is leading to a legitimate domain or not. Phishing links may have a seemingly unending url, with a whole bunch of numbers and letters.

Its impossible for a phisher to copy the registered domain name of a website. Instead, they will create something very similar to the actual domain name. (Ex: Take a look at the image to the right for a better example.

How to identify phishing attempt via Paypal example
How to identify phishing attempt via Paypal example


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    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Sound advice for those who want to surf in safety. Thanks for the tips. Have rated you up!

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

      Very informative hub. Thanks.

    • profile image

      ashutsh dwivedi 7 years ago

      Phishing is not agod job.IT