Phishing scams and how to protect yourself


Target audience: McGill faculty, students and staff

Phishing is the fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information by pretending to be a legitimate/trusted organization or institution. This article provides information on how to recognize, prevent and report phishing attacks.

In this article:

Introduction to Phishing

Phishing attempts appear in many forms, including but not limited to: email, popup windows, instant messages, and phone calls. These often involve trying to make you click on a link that leads to a fraudulent website, where you will submit the desired information.

Phishing can happen to anyone: How to recognize a phishing attack

Did you accidentally fall victim to a phishing email? It can happen to almost anyone, at any time. If you do get hooked by a phishing attack it is critical that you report it right away!

Recognize a Phishing Attack before you take the bait:

There are common clues that can help you identify a phishing attack as soon as it hits your inbox. Be on the lookout for these signs:

We know the bad guys can be tricky. If you suspect an email is a phishing attack, or you think that you may have fallen victim to one, help us by reporting it right away.

Other types of scams

In addition to email, scams can also be facilitated by phone. In these cases, the fraudsters will often impersonate government or law enforcement officials in an attempt to scam you out of large sums of money. Below is some information from the Government of Canada on how to recognize these scams and help avoid becoming a victim: