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.
- 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.
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.
Here is an example of an email that claims to be from FedEx where the actual address is from specweldfab.revitalsite.comabc.
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:
Here’s another example of an urgent request:
Both of these fake messages include tell-tale grammatical errors and demand you take action to avoid losing access to your account.
Tip: Avoid using the “Report phishing” option that’s built into the TMU Gmail platform. Forwarding the phish to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.