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With your help, TMU can minimize online threats.

Phishing emails are designed to deceive you into:

  • Clicking a link and entering personal details like your TMU username and password;
  • Giving away personal details like your credit card or bank account numbers; 
  • Opening an attachment and installing malicious software; or
  • Impersonating someone in an attempt to commit fraud with your help.

Each month, our university fields 1,500 increasingly convincing phishing emails attempting to target students, faculty and staff.

What to do with a phish

Step 1:
Keep yourself safe

Recognize the phish and don’t select links or open attachments in the email.

Step 2:
Keep your community safe

Report the phish to protect the university community by forwarding it to

If you aren’t sure it’s a phish, report it anyway and we’ll check it out. Find more on how to catch a phish and how to report a phish.

How to catch a phish

Protect yourself by knowing how to recognize phishing attempts so you can report and delete them.

  • The sender's address is suspicious.
  • The "To" field is blank or for another person.
  • The email includes typos or grammatical errors.
  • The message contains an urgent request for personal information.
  • The message requires immediate action to avoid a problem like losing access to your TMU account.
  • When you hover over a link or button in the email, it directs you to an address (usually suspicious) unrelated to the text in the link.
  • We've provided some samples to help you detect phishing emails. Many of these examples are derived from phishing emails that were sent to TMU email addresses. The links in these examples have been slightly modified to make them less dangerous but please don't attempt to visit these sites.

Spear phishing is a phishing tactic that targets a specific person by sending fraudulent emails that include personal information about the victim, tricking them into believing the email is legitimate.

Learn tips for spotting spear phishing attacks.

Here is an example where the sender is pretending the email is from a TMU address, but the actual address is really from uniswa.szabc.

Sender is from: '' but the actual address is really from 'pjmusi@uniswa.szabc'

Here is an example of an email that claims to be from FedEx where the actual address is from specweldfab.revitalsite.comabc.

Email that claims to be from 'FedEx International Ground' but the actual address is from ''abc

It’s always worth taking a moment to carefully check the full email address of the sender.

Here is part of an urgent request that included a link to a fake TMU login page:

Phishing email stating, 'Due to high numbers of inactive library accounts on our server, you are urged to validate your library account within a week after receiving this e-mail'

Here’s another example of an urgent request:

Urgent request 2: We would be shutting down several TORONTOMU MAIL Accounts. You will have to confirm your TORONTOMU MAIL Account. So you are required to provide us with the following information. Full Name: Username: Password: Telephone

Both of these fake messages include tell-tale grammatical errors and demand you take action to avoid losing access to your account.

How to report a phish

If you think you’ve received a phishing email:

Forward the email to using the “forward” function.

Delete the email from your mailbox without clicking on any links or attachments.

Tip: Avoid using the “Report phishing” option that’s built into the TMU Gmail platform. Forwarding the phish to ensures you’re reporting it directly to us so we can stop it from reaching others at the university.

Phishing attacks aren’t just limited to your inbox

Hackers can also target you by directing you to malicious phishing websites or contact you via your mobile devices.