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How To Identify Fake And Phishing Links

Hello, in this post, I will be sharing with you, how you can identify fake links and links that are set up to scam you, please follow my instructions carefully.

First, what are links? Links are urls.

A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), colloquially termed a web address, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it.

A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), although many people use the two terms interchangeably.

URLs occur most commonly to reference web pages (http), but are also used for file transfer (ftp), email (mailto), database access (JDBC), and many other applications (Source: Wikipedia).

URLs (links) can be separated into two parts:

  • Domain Name (e.g TipsMint)
  • Domain Extension (e.g .Com)

Most web browsers display the URL of a web page above the page in an address bar

Before checking name of any website, first look for the domain extension i.e:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .com.ng
  • .net
  • .ng
  • .in
  • .gov
  • .gov.ng etc.

The name just before extension is the DOMAIN NAME of the website, e.g www.tipsmint.com

In https://jumia.black-friday.com, the word before .com is “black-friday” (and NOT “jumia”).

JUMIA word is separated with ( . ) dot So, this webpage does not belong to jumia.com, but it belongs to “black-friday.com“, which most of us haven’t heard of  before.

Sites like https://netflix-usa.net/?free-isolation-period does not belong to NETFLIX, it belongs to netflix-usa which is a fake domain.

Netflix official website is something like https://netflix.com/anything

You can similarly check for fraudulent (so-called) banking websites.

Before your e-banking login, make sure that the name just before “.com” is the name of your bank.

Eg: “something.firstbank.com”  belongs to FIRSTBANK,

but “firstbank.something.com” belongs to something and not Firstbank.

There can also be a typo in domain done purposely to confuse user to do phishing.

Eg: www.facebookk.com or faceb00k.com does not relate to facebook.com

Nowadays you may have also seen various spam messages forwarded by users claiming to get free 100GB data or free airtime from MTN or Airtel or GLO e.t.c

Before attempting to forward such messages, always check for domain name and website. Inputting data and doing some task as said on their website may result in your smartphone infected by some malware.

There are several scripts present on such website which may be executed. So Beware and don’t fall in such trap. There is nothing FREE in this world.

And apart from the fact that you’re risking your identities of being compromised by clicking such links, you are also generating free money for the person who creates such site, the more you click the link, the more you share it and the  more people click it, the more  traffic his fake website generates and the more money he makes.

Also please check before downloading apk or android apps for smartphone. http://googleplay.com/store/apps/com.ife.google

Does not belongs to Google, it belongs to googleplay.com which is not owned by Google.

But http://play.google.com/store/apps/com.ife.google belongs to Google.

There is also another one currently circulating on WhatsApp now that the Federal Government is paying one stupid ₦8,500 for all it’s citizens through this link:  https://bit.ly/FG_COVID19_GRANT

Even just a common reasoning will tell us that this can’t be true, not in this present Nigeria we both are currently in.

When you see such links in the future saying it’s either from Federal/State government, run away from it like it is COVID-19 victim… Why?

First of all, if the government wants to pass any such important information, they’ll use their official website for that thing, not a link shortener like http://bit.ly/any_jargon that will even be displaying ads.

Secondly, such sites have no other aim than to harvest your phone numbers and emails addresses and sell them in bulk to advertisers so they’ll spam both your email and SMS inbox with junk messages. Some will even attempt to steal sensitive information from you. Please let’s all be careful.

I had to take my time to write all these because of the rate at which most of us become gullible to such petty tactics including the graduates and undergraduates among us.

Please share this information widely and help your family and friends avoid falling for such tricks.

Kindly drop your comments too. Thank you.

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Written by Olatayo Hayzeed

Na wa oooo, too many questions 🙄🙄🙄

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