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Tips from the Help Desk - How to Spot Phishing Scams

January 2, 2014

Phishing is an attempt to steal a user’s personal information through fraudulent emails. Below are a few tips to help you identify these scams and keep your information safe online.

  • Ultimatums or threatening tones are signs of phishing scams. Scammers will often attempt to frighten you by saying your account will be deleted if you do not respond.
  • Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from unknown senders.
  • Scammers will often show you a legitimate link but clicking on it will redirect you to an illegitimate site. To combat this, you can type website addresses directly in to your browser. You can also use your mouse to hover over a link before clicking. Most browsers will show you the actual address of the link in the lower left hand corner of the window without having to click it. If the address written in your email and the address in the corner do not match, proceed with caution.
  • Phishing emails used to be easy to spot by the number of grammar and spelling errors present. While these errors are common in phishing scams, the lack of them does NOT indicate that the email is legitimate.

Remember, ITS will never ask you for your password. If you are ever unsure about the legitimacy of an email feel free to contact the ITS Help Desk at (618) 650-5500 or

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