Online Security - Phishing Scams

Phishing Scams

Question: Do you know someone who has been scammed online? What happened?
  • What is phishing?
  • How can you tell if you receive a phishing email?
  • What should you do if you receive one?

How do I recognize cyber tricks, scams, and phishing? 

1. Is it giving you something for free? Free offers usually are not free, especially if the offer needs your personal information. 

2. Is it asking for your personal information? 
  • Some websites trick you into giving them personal information so they can send you more tricks. For example, “personality tests” can be actually gathering facts about you to make it easy, for example, to guess your password or other secret information. 
  • Most legitimate businesses will never ask for personal information like account numbers, passwords and social security numbers via email. 
3. Is it a chain letter? a. Chain letters may put you at risk. b. Don’t forward them to your friends.

Example Phishing Scam E-mail (click to enlarge)

Features of a Phishing Email 

Need to verify account information: Phony emails will try to trick you into giving up account information, passwords, or clicking on a phishing link, where you fill out information that identity thieves can collect and use. Usually what they’re asking for doesn’t make sense if you think about it, because they should already have that information! 

Sense of urgency: When the message says you only have a limited time to respond, it is often the sign of a scam. 

Spelling errors: Scam emails often include spelling and grammatical errors. A real company would not send out messages containing such errors. 

Alert that account is in trouble: Identity thieves try to make you worry that something is wrong with your account, so you will feel you must immediately respond to the email to fix it. 

Link in email or attachment: Phishing emails often have a link within the email or an attachment that you are urged to click on. This link can lead you to a site or form where you (unknowingly) give your information to criminals. You should never respond to or click on links in such emails. Instead, go directly to the main website, and from there check your account. 

Too good to be true: Scam emails often offer things that are too good to be true, like the easy chance to win free money or prizes. 

Generic greeting: You might see a generic greeting that does not personally address you. Reputable companies send emails where they address their customers by name. 

ASSIGNMENT: Create a 2-4 slide Power Point warning advertisement for students to avoid Phishing Scams.                                            Describe your top tips for identifying and avoiding phishing scams. 
                        The best designs (as voted by the class) will appear in rotation on The Howl TV 
                        Create a 1 page phishing scam warning ad using Photoshop or MS Publisher. Gear this towards people whose first language is not English. Please write this in another language.These may be submitted to the local newspapers for printing or placed around our community for education purposes.
                        11 inches x 17 inches should be your ad size.  All images used must be "Labeled for Reuse"

Marking Criteria

I expect your assignment to be clear and well-designed. I expect it to reflect the information and data provided in the lesson. Please use the resources provided on this page to find correct spelling and correct terms and definitions.

Your grade will be based on 2 categories:

Clarity - How clear and easy to read is your project? Please remember that these will be on the HOWL, on small TVs, so do not make your slides too complicated or they will be too hard to read. (use the 6x6 rule)


Information - Are you accurately reflecting the information from this lesson or are you just making up facts? Is your project well thought out, is the spelling correct, and is the information you present correct, valid, and helpful to the viewer?


Total   /20

The class will be collectively marking your assignments as a group on Wednesday next week..

Other Scam Examples

These are not just online:

YouTube Video