Do You Know How to Recognize a Phishing Scam?

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017

The online safety and security of the U of G community is a top priority. One of the most common methods for cyber criminals to access your personal information is through phishing email scams, where they attempt to lure you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment, try to convince you to share your identity information (e.g. passwords), or try to infect your system with malware.

While Computing and Communication Services (CCS) - the central IT organization on campus - blocks a large number of phishing attempts targeting the University, U of G users still remain vulnerable to new and emerging scams that come out every day.

How to recognize a phishing attempt:

  • Spelling and grammar errors evident in email
  • Urgent requests for personal information with severe/unrealistic consequences for inaction
  • Offers that seem too good to be true
  • Lack of integrity in embedded URLs (hover over an embedded URL to ensure the hyperlink matches)
  • Unexpected attachments in email
  • The sender email does not match the organization it claims to be sent from (i.e. your bank would never send an email from a Gmail account)


What to do if you suspect a phishing attempt:

  • Do not respond or open any links in the email until you have confirmed it is safe.
  • Never give your password to anyone. U of G will NEVER ask for your password or login information.
  • Check our Recent Scams and Phishing Attempts page, if the scam is listed here, delete the email.
  • Follow CCS on Twitter (@uofgccs) to receive up-to-date phishing scam alerts, along with other IT security alerts and tech information.
  • If you receive a phishing attempt which is not listed on the CCS website or Twitter feed, please forward it to the CCS Help Centre at 58888help@uoguelph.ca 
  • Report security incidents to the CCS Information Security team via our website https://infosec.uoguelph.ca


You can read more about how to recognize phishing attempts  or test your knowledge by taking this quick online phishing quiz.

Be aware and be safe!