When I buy something online, I always look at the address to make sure the url starts with https:// before the domain name. You will also see a padlock icon.
Oops. That doesn’t’ really mean a thing these days according to an article I just read. All the scammers have to do is buy a domain name and an SSL certificate. Easy enough.
There are really 3 levels of SSL certificates and to be safe, they have to have an “Organizationally validated” (OV) or an “Extended validated” (EV) certificate. You can’t tell that from the address bar. But there is a way to check it out further.
If you don’t have something in place to warn you about phishing or when sites aren’t safe, Norton has a free tool you can use to get their assessment. Submit the url in question, as of this time anyway, and it will give their feedback. I just tried it and it gave me the information without having to jump through any hoops.
You can read the full article on SSL certificates here if you want it straight from the horse’s mouth.