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Phishing emails - What are they?

Phishing emails - What are they?

What do the emails look like / What do they ask for?

Phishing attacks will typically encourage victims to enter details on a fake website - which often seems to come from a legitimate organisation.

Look out for phishing emails that contain...

  • casual or informal wording that is not in the normal style of an email from a legitimate company.
  • familiar language or tone, but poor grammar and spelling.
  • a request to verify your account - we will never ask you for your Royal Holloway password, nor will any bank or other legitimate organisation.
  • links suggesting 'There is a secure message waiting for you' - these messages work by putting the emphasis on reading a message - not your actual account. However, the link in the email will still ask for your personal account details.
  • warnings such as 'If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed' - such messages convey a sense of urgency that can make you respond immediately without thinking. Phishing emails might even claim that your response is required because your account may have been compromised.
  • requests for you to 'Click the link below to gain access to your account' - sophisticated email messages can contain links or forms that you may fill out just as you would do on a legitimate website
  • non-specific greetings such as 'Dear Valued Customer' - phishing emails are usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first name or surname.

For more information see the Online safety webpage.


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