Security :: Phishing Examples

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Here are a few examples of phishing emails we have received at Humboldt State University. What would you have done if you'd received any of these emails? Are there tell-tale signs you would have picked up?

Example 1

From: "Webmaster" <>
Subject: Dear Humboldt User

A good web users,

This message is the Humboldt messaging center for all email account owners.
We are currently updating the data base and e-mail account center.

We are removing all the unused web email account to create more room for
new accounts.If you want to prevent the closure of the account, you'll need
to update it from below, so that we know that it has been present for use
of the

Affirming IDENTITY e-mail address below and send the information required
to MY PRIVATE security reasons, the message (

User E-mail:.....................
E-mail Password:..............
Date of Birth:....................
Country or Region:............

Warning! The owner, that refuses to update his account within seven days
of this warning will lose his account permanently.

Thank you for using WWW.HUMBOLDT.EDU!
Warning Code: VX2G99AAJ

This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.
MailScanner thanks transtec Computers for their support.

Example 2

From: "" 
Subject: Remove your paypal account limitation PayPal

Why is my account access limited?

Your account access has been limited for the following reason(s):

We would like to ensure that your account was not accessed by an unauthorized third party
Protecting the security of your account is our primary concern.

You must click the link below and enter your information to review your account:

Click here to visit the Resolution Center and
complete the Steps to Remove Limitations

The PayPal Team

Example 3

Subject: Humboldt State University **Update Your Humboldt Email Now**

               This is a WebNews Email Account  Update
                 See the below mailing information

Update Your Humboldt Email Now.

Dear Humboldt Email Owner,This message is from Humboldt  messaging center to all 
Humboldt Email owners. We are currently
upgrading our data base and e-mail center. We are deleting all unused Humboldt email
to create more space for new one.To prevent your account from closing you will have 
to update it below so that we will
know that it's a present used account.

However Humboldt has been receiving complaints from our customers for
unauthorised use of the Humboldt Email. As a result we are making an extra security 
check on all of our Customers
mailbox in
order to protect their information from theft and fraud.

Warning!!! Email owner that refuses to update his or her Email,within two days of 
receiving this warning will lose his
or her Email permanently..You are require to send us the below information via :

Requested Information

Email Username  : .......... .....
Email Password : ................
Date of Birth : ................
Country or Territory : ..........

Thanks for your co-operation.

Copyright @2008 Humboldt State University. All rights reserved.

Example 4

From:	The 53-rd Bank 2007 <>

Subject: 53rd Bank Direct Strongly Recommends Code: 0249

Dear  53rd Bank Treasury Management customer!

Our Maintenance Subdivision is carrying out a scheduled Direct Service update.

By following the link below you will begin the procedure of the user details approval:

These directions are to be e-mailed and followed by all Business Treasury Management 
customers of the Fifth Third USA.

Fifth Third USA does apologize for the troubles caused, and is very appreciative for 
your cooperation.

If you are not client of the Fifth Third Business please ignore this notice!

Copyright © 2007 The 53rd Bank Direct All Rights Reserved.


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