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RE: how can you verify that the site you get is not a fake?

Having gotten several "spoofed" emails from "paypal,
ebay, credit card companies, etc", I never just click
on links in emails.

Firefox has some extensions that could be helpful:

1-SpoofStick - Firefox Extension "A simple way to
detect spoofed websites. It's not a comprehensive
solution, but it's a good start."

2-ShowIP - Firefox Extension "Show the IP address of
the current page in the status bar."

3-TrustBar - Firefox Extension "TrustBar is a tiny
extension that protects users against spoofing sites,
 `phishing`," etc. "It adds a small bar to browsers,
displaying the name/logo of the site and of the entity
(CA) that identified the site, for protected sites;
and a clear warning for unprotected pages."

4-whois - Firefox Extension "Whois info in context and
tool menus."

5-Mentioned in this thread was 'netcraft toolbar'
which, after reading their website
(http://toolbar.netcraft.com/ and
http://news.netcraft.com/) sounds interesting.

I usually right click on the links and copy/paste them
into a text editor so I can see the whole address
(since many seem to consist of dozens and dozens of
Then I can also paste it into "whois.net" type search
sites (like: www.samspade.org, ripe.net, arin.net,
apnic.org, geoup.com/IpLocator, many more).

If search results say it is a suspicious address, I
report it to the "Real Website". Most sites that have
been spoofed have "report spoofed emails" or "report
fraud" email links.

Of course, these tips are not a substitute for having
a working knowledge of SSL, browser certificates, etc.

As the spoofstick description says "It's not a
comprehensive solution, but" (maybe) "it's a good

to paraphrase a US President:

You can 'please' some of the people all of the time, 
and all of the people some of the time, 
but you can not 'please' all of the people all of the
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)

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