Anatomy of a Phishing Email

Anatomy of a Phishing Email

How to spot a shark in your mailbox

A phishing email is a fraudulent message designed to fool you into giving up your password or other important information. It can steal your data and install viruses or other harmful software on your computer. Phishers prey on uneducated users. Don’t be fooled!

The sender may look legitimate, such as the “University of Louisville” address. That doesn’t mean it’s a safe email. Phishers may “spoof,” posing as someone else.

Fraudulent emails often use scare tactics like urgent or ominous sounding language. Typos and bad grammar, or improper punctuation or capitalizations are other tip-offs.

Links in emails can be very crafty, because the link, such as, appears to be legitimate. But hover your mouse over the URL and you’ll see that the link really takes you to a site that has nothing to do with UofL.

Are you being asked for your userID or password, oreven your bankaccount or credit card numbers? Be- ware of any email asking for such sensitive information. Remember, IT will never ask for your password.

Generic greetings and signatures are tip-offs that the email is phishing. There is no specific individual, department or contact information listed. When these details are absent, beware.

Not sure if it’s phishing or legitimate email? Don’t click any links! Ask you’re Tier I or call the IT HelpDesk at 502-852-7997.