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How to Spot Phishing

Here are a couple of examples of what phishing scams in an email message might look like.

Phishing Example 1

Check out where the above link directs a user. What is wrong with this picture? Correct, it does not resemble the UST branding. Don’t be fooled; some phishers will take the time to use the UST look and feel. Question the fake URLs.

Phishing Example 2

An Example from Microsoft

Phishing Example 3

Spelling and bad grammar – Cybercriminals are not known for their grammar and spelling. Professional companies or organizations usually have a staff of copy editors that will not allow a mass email like this to go out to its users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam. For more information, see Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself.

Beware of links in email – If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don't click on it. Rest your mouse (but don't click) on the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. In the example below, the link reveals the real web address, as shown in the box with the yellow background. The string of cryptic numbers looks nothing like the company's web address.

Phishing Example 4

Links might also lead you to .exe files. These kinds of file are known to spread malicious software.