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The website is verified by the Certificate Authority Symantec according to my Firefox browser; however, when I went to the website and foolishly bought a gift card, I then got a notification from my bank that someone spent over $400. The fees were refunded and everything was resolved; however, I am confused why the website says it's verified by a CA if it's known for scamming customers. The reviews are filled with other people saying the same thing or something similar.

Why would Symantec verify that this is a secure website, when it's not? I am no expert in IT Security, I am still at entry level and would like to know or understand this better because I am kind of confused.

Website: https://www.cardpool.com/

marked as duplicate by Steffen Ullrich, Serge Ballesta, schroeder Jun 21 '17 at 6:26

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Symantec is verifying only that the website is who they say they are. They make no judgements based on whether or not the owners of the website are running a legitimate service or not.

CAs are not supposed to sign a certificate if that certificate could be misinterpreted as a different site: https://www.citibank.com would be verified by the actual Citibank company; but https://www.citibamk.com should not be issued to anyone else because it's probably a thief using typosquatting in order to dupe people. (Note that Citibank could in good faith register citibamk.com in order to redirect people to their real site; some sites will buy up typosquatting domain names in order to prevent these attacks.

So, if the site you visited was named https://www.ARealLegitStoreAndNotAScammer.com and you got scammed by them anyway, it's not Symantec's fault. However, if you got duped by https://www.walmert.com into thinking you were at the very large retailer's web site, then they should never have signed the certificate, and it's their fault.

  • 2
    Note also that Let's Encrypt has a habit of just signing things with little regard for whether they are potentially confusing. – Kevin Jun 21 '17 at 15:31

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