We keep getting loads of spam messages into our emails and WhatsApp saying we have won cash rewards or asking us to play quizzes and games to win Paytm cash. Though we all know that these messages are fake, sometimes we fall in the trap as the messages are designed to make us believe that they are from genuine website owners and redirecting link takes us to a replica of the actual website. In this era when technology is both a boon and a bane, it is being misused for false practices. We have to be very careful before clicking on any links as that might hack or hang our phones and can steal personal data, or download unwanted apps. Following are some basic pointers which will help you determine the authenticity of a link.
Misspelt Domain Names
Before clicking the link, check for the spelling of the site. Scammers create a website with a subtle variation which if not keenly seen might make us believe that it’s actual link.
Actual link: https://www.amazon.in/
Fake URL: http://www.amaazon.in/
An extra ‘a’ is added in the domain name.
Special Characters Main website name of URL
Nowadays we keep getting WhatsApp forwards to win free Paytm Cash. If you closely observe the URL, it will be something like ‘http://paytm-rewardcash.com/’ which will redirect to a duplicate Paytm website.
Always remember that there will not be any special characters like hyphens and symbols in the name of the website of an URL. They can be in the extended links but not in the main website name.
https://makemytrip.com is okay but http://make-my-trip-winner.com is not okay.
Check for HTTPS encryption
HTTP is the protocol over which data is sent and received between the website and browser. It is not encrypted. Meaning that anyone can easily spy on the communication. Hence all the leading banking and e-commerce websites go for the secure version which is HTTPS. By this all the communications between website and browser are encrypted, hence are secure.
HTTPS is one of the important parameters that ensure the authenticity of a link.
Any offer details are present only after the slash
If any website releases any offers or deals, that link info will appear only after a slash and not in the main website name.
https://flipkart.com/deals/ is okay but not http://flipkart-deals.com/
When in doubt, check the website about offers
When you receive a link to free cash or big prize money and gifts, before clicking on the link, go to the respective website and check if the company has launched any such offers. Because if the company offers such huge rewards it will surely advertise it.