July 20, 2021

Phishing Warning

Think you’re careful enough not to get “reeled in” by a phishing attempt? Believe it or not, statistics show 30 percent of all phishing emails get opened! 

Just like a good lure, some phishing emails look authentic and often contain convincing logos, legitimate phone numbers and email signatures from actual employees. Here are some things to look for so you don’t become the “catch of the day”:

Too good to be true

Criminals know the best bait includes offers of money, free stuff and other goodies. Of course, you only need to enter your personal information to receive the goodies or find out how to wire the money needed for “prize processing.”


Another favorite lure in the phisher’s tackle box involves threats! These may be warnings of an account closing, possible legal action, etc. to force hasty decisions.

Immediate action required

Fraudulent emails use urgency, which can lead to hasty decisions. Think before you click.


Companies and major entities make an effort to address you personally when action is required. Phishing attempts, however, often use greetings such as “Dear User.”

Poor spelling and grammar

Bad grammar and spelling errors are telltale signs of a phishing attempt. Government entities, universities and companies proof messages before they are distributed.

Check the line

Scammers hide fake URLs in real-looking hyperlinks. When you click a link to what you think is one website, it takes you to a scam website. Always hover over links to see where they really lead.

Who’s it from?

Scammers use legitimate-looking email addresses to trick you into thinking an email is real. Beware of “from” addresses such as support@wlsfrgo.com that seem real, but aren’t.

Keep the ponds separate

Don’t forget that you cannot use personal email accounts for university business. Don’t give the bad guys more ways to phish!

The university community is a “big pond” for scammers, so stay vigilant as you check your email inbox! If you receive a suspicious message, contact Help Desk Central immediately at helpdesk@tamu.edu or 979.845.8300.