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Think you're good at identifying scams? Try this!

Think you're good at identifying scams? Try this!

Can you spot the scam? Take the quiz and find out.

Most people have received a scam e-mail in their inbox at one point in time or another but just how good are you at detecting the real scams from genuine e-mails and websites?

McAfee Inc.'s SiteAdvisor service has created a simple online test to see if you can spot the difference between a genuine website and a fake.

At the end of the quiz, you will be given your results along with a guide to help you better identify any questions that you may have answered wrong.

Just make sure you check out the available larger images or you might just get fooled on a couple of them like I did.

Are you an expert scam detector or did you miss a couple of the questions? Go ahead and make fun of my non-perfect score in the comments below or over in the forums.

72 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Spacecowboy92 27th July 2007, 12:52 Quote
9/10 :( I’m shocked! I got the capital one wrong. Damn, I knew the template looked dodgy but it looked so convincing. It got hard when they took the site addresses away. I even had to check Amazon to see what colour that parcel at the top is, red or green.
poenanie 27th July 2007, 12:55 Quote
6/10 though I did this in a rush , I feel ashamed of myself :p
specofdust 27th July 2007, 12:56 Quote
8/10 - not bad I suppose. Quite an interesting little test.
whisperwolf 27th July 2007, 12:58 Quote
10/10 just look for grammar mistakes, I make enough but major companies shouldn't
TheVoice 27th July 2007, 13:04 Quote
10/10 for me. Some of them were a bit more tricky though, it has to be said.
CardJoe 27th July 2007, 13:08 Quote
8/10, I just look for key features.
mikeuk2004 27th July 2007, 13:10 Quote
Darn, Java is blocked here at work. Will have to wait till I get home.
Matkubicki 27th July 2007, 13:16 Quote
10/10, far too easy

If scammers learnt some grammar we'd all be stuffed though, although the Paypal email was tricky as i couldn't do my usual trick of hovering over the link and seeing where it pointed.

Anyway if that's the worst scammers have got i will sleep easier :)
Amon 27th July 2007, 13:19 Quote
9/10. Most of these were unbelievably obvious. That being said, we're with computers often, so it's no surprise to us that we'd catch what typical users would miss.
LoneArchon 27th July 2007, 13:31 Quote
9/10 missed the Bank of America one. I usually check the url to see if the site is a scam.
yodasarmpit 27th July 2007, 13:32 Quote
10/10
Icy EyeG 27th July 2007, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneArchon
9/10 missed the Bank of America one. I usually check the url to see if the site is a scam.

Also missed that one... 8/10 (didn't know about the The Nigerian 419 scam...)
FR34K 27th July 2007, 13:43 Quote
9/10...got the bank of america one wrong cause I didn't read the text errors. good thing I don't use them.
I used to get the Nigerian scams all the time.
XeroNXS 27th July 2007, 13:59 Quote
Rating: Safety Guru

10/10 on my first try. :D
Votey 27th July 2007, 14:05 Quote
10/10. Way too easy for people like us bit-tech readers. But your average Joe Sixpack using his interweb connectrolla wouldn't catch many of them.
Shielder 27th July 2007, 14:07 Quote
10/10. Although I guessed on the Amazon site. I didn't notice the errors on the page and just clicked on the one that looked right. I should really have only got 9/10 I suppose.

Andy
Cobalt 27th July 2007, 14:13 Quote
9/10. I lost on the amazon one. Thing is that I would always check the address bar before anything else if I suspected a phishing attack so the questions without it were a bit pointless.

Also if I get a link in an email to a shopping/banking website then I'll always just type in in the address bar anyway to avoid any problems.
kenco_uk 27th July 2007, 14:13 Quote
9/10 - got the last question wrong! Gah!
yodasarmpit 27th July 2007, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shielder
10/10. Although I guessed on the Amazon site. I didn't notice the errors on the page and just clicked on the one that looked right. I should really have only got 9/10 I suppose.

Andy
I did the same with the amazon one, I didn't pick up on the error, it just didn't look right esp the links at the bottom.
RTT 27th July 2007, 14:21 Quote
YOU ANSWERED 10 OF 10 QUESTIONS CORRECTLY

easy peasy.
Tim S 27th July 2007, 14:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTT
YOU ANSWERED 10 OF 10 QUESTIONS CORRECTLY

easy peasy.

well done Rich, you must be some kind of Internets genius.
Bluephoenix 27th July 2007, 14:24 Quote
10/10

most readers here will get at least 8/10
MrP 27th July 2007, 14:35 Quote
6/10

didnt read the text in any of them, but as my english is pretty bad anyway i wouldnt have picked up on most of the gramatical mistakes.

i tend to rely on logo and web addresses to sort the wheat from the chaff
pranks7er 27th July 2007, 14:52 Quote
YOU ANSWERED 9 OF 10 QUESTIONS CORRECTLY
Rating: Safety Guru

got myspace wrong
well i didnt look at the bits answers showed, i looked for site layout, and type questions asked
Firehed 27th July 2007, 15:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XeroNXS
Rating: Safety Guru

10/10 on my first try. :D
Same. Easy stuff.
DXR_13KE 27th July 2007, 15:59 Quote
8/10 i blew it in Amazon and refused to answer the AOL one.... even if it was easy to spot the fake one.
slugs 27th July 2007, 16:17 Quote
9/10 i got a bit bored and didn't look at the paypal one properly
z3rb 27th July 2007, 16:18 Quote
YOU ANSWERED 8 OF 10 QUESTIONS CORRECTLY
Rating: Safety Guru

pew pew.
Flibblebot 27th July 2007, 16:35 Quote
9/10, got the last one wrong. The actual website ones were easy to spot.
quack 27th July 2007, 16:39 Quote
8/10
[USRF]Obiwan 27th July 2007, 16:44 Quote
9/10 also the Capital site. But i never visited any of the sites except paypal. I didnt check for gramar at all (hard to see for me as a non native speaking) , but just looked at how the site is build and afcourse the url. So for me this is a excelent score ;)
Renoir 27th July 2007, 17:09 Quote
10/10 although couple were tricky
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperwolf
10/10 just look for grammar mistakes, I make enough but major companies shouldn't
Grammar was key for me too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt
9/10. I lost on the amazon one. Thing is that I would always check the address bar before anything else if I suspected a phishing attack so the questions without it were a bit pointless.

Also if I get a link in an email to a shopping/banking website then I'll always just type in in the address bar anyway to avoid any problems.
I'm exactly the same
Furymouse 27th July 2007, 17:37 Quote
7/10
I feel so ashamed
EmJay 27th July 2007, 18:50 Quote
9/10, which I think is pretty good as I almost never use the websites in the examples. Grammar tells all... When are they going to learn to hire native speakers to write the text for them? There are lots of people who would do it.

IMHO, while this is interesting and informative, I'm not sure how accurate it is as a test. How many of those mistakes would you really have caught if you weren't looking for them? To me, the giveaway is the email telling you to follow a link to resubmit your sensitive data, not the appearance of the site itself.
Demon Cleaner 27th July 2007, 19:06 Quote
8/10

Amazon one I got wrong, but like others said; I usually look at the address first. Q4 I got wrong as well apparently. Looking at the from field is a good way at seeing if it's legitimate. I never said it was full proof though!

Generally, with the account ones I just looked at what info they were asking for. If they want my full address and DOB and mother's maiden name etc. I'm going to be suspicious.
Gravemind123 27th July 2007, 19:10 Quote
Amazon one was the only one I got wrong, so a 9/10.
Dr. Strangelove 27th July 2007, 19:13 Quote
Got 9/10. The funny thing is at half of them the reasons they state for them to be wrong. Were not what made me choose them
Guess I kinda went on instinct...
will. 27th July 2007, 19:29 Quote
10/10

But this isn't for nerds, this is for mummy's and daddys who think technology is wireless tv remote.
JADS 27th July 2007, 20:09 Quote
9/10 Safety Guru

I got Amazon wrong :(
Tim S 27th July 2007, 20:23 Quote
I got Bank of America wrong... the rest I got right though. :)
devdevil85 27th July 2007, 20:32 Quote
/\ If Tim misses one.....then I can't imagine how many I'm gonna miss....
Tim S 27th July 2007, 20:34 Quote
I've never used Bank of America and I rarely use online banking these days since Phonebank is generally more convenient and I can speak to a real person if I want. Still... I didn't really bother reading the text very closely - I guess I should know better than that. :p
bloodcar 27th July 2007, 20:35 Quote
I missed a few because I didn't bother to click the images to look at the larger sizes. :o
crazybob 27th July 2007, 20:41 Quote
10/10, but it was almost all in the grammar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmJay
IMHO, while this is interesting and informative, I'm not sure how accurate it is as a test. How many of those mistakes would you really have caught if you weren't looking for them? To me, the giveaway is the email telling you to follow a link to resubmit your sensitive data, not the appearance of the site itself.
You're exactly right; I always check the address in the address bar as well as by hovering over some links, neither of which was possible in this test, and by typing the address in rather than clicking on a link. If I weren't expecting trouble I wouldn't look at the pages nearly as hard as I did during the test. It also helped that during the test I could look at fake and legit side-by-side.
ElZog 27th July 2007, 20:46 Quote
AOL i got wrong as I assumed asking for national insurance/social security info must be wrong.

Amazon also I got wrong as the fake site had all the same links at the bottom as amazon.com has for me when I visit, whereas the real one did not.
scq 27th July 2007, 21:00 Quote
10/10 on first.

The trick is to use EXTREME skepticism. I looked for odd, overly-long URLs, misspellings (yes, scammers from foreign countries sometimes forget their plurals!), and excessive requests for personal info.
RTT 27th July 2007, 21:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
well done Rich, you must be some kind of Internets genius.

i am very proficient in internet(s)
Redbeaver 27th July 2007, 22:40 Quote
LOL i got 8/10 but im happy coz most of the guys that r not perfect (yes, we'r only humans) missed on the same question... aMAZON!! lol riiight... they both looked pretty good to me and so i picked randomly. guess today not my lucky day.

question: all u guys that got 10/10, did u actually noticed the Amazon one or ur just lucky? come on now, spill the truth!! :)

the other one is the last one... the heck... yah i know its not perfect, but NEARLY all security certificate validated by the browser are valid anyway... so of course i pick yes! :p

ps: i finished that test in less than 2 minutes, im in the office right now. thats pretty darn good.
RTT 27th July 2007, 22:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver

question: all u guys that got 10/10, did u actually noticed the Amazon one or ur just lucky? come on now, spill the truth!! :)

Firstly I know what the amazon login looks like* (new/returning customer) but the biggest give away was the dodgy "Please log in with your username and password !"

the space between 'password' and '!' inparticular.

*if you think about it, why would a scam site want to offer you the chance to sign up on Amazon?

:)
g3n3tiX 27th July 2007, 22:56 Quote
Perfect 10 for me... Safety guru !
Got the amazon one right, not from random choice.
Constructacon 27th July 2007, 23:22 Quote
10/10. But to be honest I probably would have thought some of those were genuine without the other site to compare it to.
yakyb 27th July 2007, 23:40 Quote
9/10 missed the amazon one although didnt really go into much detail on most of them should have noticed the double drop down tho
Hamish 27th July 2007, 23:51 Quote
10/10
had to do it twice cos the images stopped loading halfway through and had to do it in ie as it wouldnt work at all in firefox
ironic really as its probably down to noscript blocking the shit out of the site :p

edit: i also picked the correct ones for different reasons
no bank is going to ask you to confirm your identity by having you put in ALL of your details
ie. everything someone needs to buy stuff on your card :\
same with the aol one, yea im really going to give AOL all that personal information :p
Akava 28th July 2007, 02:32 Quote
A rather suprising 10/10, nice little test though, nice reminder on what to look out for.
outlawaol 28th July 2007, 08:27 Quote
Ok.. I really feel the need to point this out.

In nearly half of those websites, there were NO address bars. Anyone accessing ANY of those sites WILL have that. It isnt fair to show some with it, and others not. Unless your a AOL user with no sense at all. <-- Look at my username, thats what I think of aol.....

I got a 9/10, and the AOL site was "what got me".
mikeuk2004 28th July 2007, 16:18 Quote
I got 7/10

I got the Bank of America wrong, Amazon and picked the wrong Nigerian number template.


Bank of america I was not sure about as I have never seen the real site before. There was not much in it to get Amazon wrong.

It would seem that everyone got the same ones wrong.
completemadness 28th July 2007, 18:29 Quote
8/10 here

However, i disagree with them on 1 of the questions
Quote:
Question 4 of 10: One good way to protect yourself from a phishing attempt is to check the sender's name in the "From" field of an e-mail to see if it is the name of a legitimate institution.
Quote:
False - Scammers can manipulate the sender's name in an e-mail to make it look like it came from a legitimate site.
Yes they can manipulate it, however detecting scam sites is looking for many discrepancies, and adding them all up
Checking the sender's name is like step #1 - OK the protection isn't great, but it will still filter out 10% of the emails

The other one that i got wrong was the bank of America one, that was pretty tough, but they had stolen the address bar, and Ive never even looked at the bank of America site (being English) so really you could have shown me anything and i wouldn't have known

OFC the best protection for banks and stuff, is simply not to ever put links in emails, if they want to send u a message, you can find the site yourself, links are just too vulnerable
Cupboard 28th July 2007, 18:55 Quote
grrr... the correct Amazon picture was missing a load of links that are on the Amazon home page :(
knuck 28th July 2007, 19:07 Quote
6/10

But at least they showed why the fake ones weren't real and I think a few of us learned a few useful tricks :)
SNIPERMikeUK 28th July 2007, 20:29 Quote
Yes I even suprised myself, It said I have the powers of one of them pixies that can see into the future (clarvoyant)....Lol!!!
J-Pepper 28th July 2007, 20:37 Quote
10/10 first go... you got to be really dumb to fall for phishing scams now-a-days tbh.. sorry I sound harsh but true.

People deserve to be scammed if they don't swot up on safety.
Dayains 28th July 2007, 20:57 Quote
10/10
Smilodon 28th July 2007, 21:28 Quote
i got 9/10.

I failed on the payPal email. I would rather trust a mail telling me to log in to my account than one that wants me to click a link.

And picking false pages from bad grammar isn't a good way at all IMO, as this can happen even on legit sites.

I always look for pages asking for info there is no reason for them to need.
simosaurus 28th July 2007, 23:26 Quote
10/10, tho there was a couple i prettymuch guessed due to lack of help text
daveppeters 29th July 2007, 00:34 Quote
9/10 for me - got the last one wrong
I don't look for grammatical errors as much as the information they are asking for. You shouldn't have to provide things like your mother's maiden name, etc. - that gave it away for me.
Rocket733 29th July 2007, 01:14 Quote
10/10 :D
qupada 29th July 2007, 02:33 Quote
10/10. But I have to say in some of those I wasn't sure either option looked particularly good (the Paypal test especially).
benjamyn 29th July 2007, 02:37 Quote
7/10 with amazon right

I knew it was that one because of the format of the email/password login bit. with the I am a returning customer etc.
francisl1420 29th July 2007, 14:36 Quote
6/10, not great.
Soulmage 30th July 2007, 06:13 Quote
9/10

The funny thing is, I looked at the amazon one for a bit and then just ended up guessing. I guessed wrong. :(
korhojoa 30th July 2007, 15:12 Quote
waaay too easy.
it was like, enlarge pictures, glance at them, next picture.
IAmATeaf 30th July 2007, 18:26 Quote
9/10 for me, got the last question wrong on SSL :( At least I learnt something :)
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