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How to spot phishing

Learn the warning signs and protect yourself online

Criminals often use fake emails and fake websites to trick people into giving away their passwords and bank details. The technical word for this is 'phishing'.

Many of these criminals are very good at making their emails and websites look realistic. But you can often spot the fake ones with some careful examination. 

Warning signs to watch out for

Disguised or modified links

Fraudsters will often try to create a URL that looks like the real thing, but if you examine it more carefully you may see signs that something is not right.

For example, '' – this URL has been set up to look like it says, but the number 5 in place of the letter 'S' is a clear sign that the website is a fake.

If the link is contained in a word or phrase, such as 'visit our website' - you can hover over the link with your mouse to see the URL without clicking.

Bad grammar and typos

Poorly written sentences, bad grammar, and misspelled words often indicate a phishing scam.

Requests for personal information 

You should be very wary of messages that ask you to share your personal information over the phone, through email or over an instant messaging service. If you are ever unsure, simply end the conversation and get back in touch with us through one of our official channels. If the person who contacted you is a real employee, they will not be offended by this.

Urgency and account threat

Another common trick used by fraudsters is trying to frighten you into giving away your details. They may do this by warning you that your account has already been hacked, or threaten to lock you out of your account unless you verify your details.

Again, if you are unsure whether a warning is real, simply end the conversation and get back in touch on one of our official channels.

Logos or signatures

Don't assume an email is legitimate because it includes official looking graphics. Many fraudsters steal or copy the logos of legitimate companies. Read everything carefully, and don't respond to an email or letter if you’re unsure. 

Email Challenge 1: Spot the signs of fraud

Fraudsters often send emails to people to trick them into sharing access to their bank accounts or sending money. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference, but there are some common clues.

Can you spot the four warning signs in this email?

From: The Bank


Dear customer

We have detected a slight error in your account information, we notice an attempt to use your Visa debit card for online shopping from two different devices (a PC, a Laptop, a Tablet or a Mobile)

As part of our commitment to help keep your account secure we have detected an irregular activity on your account and we are placing a lock on your account for your protection. please follow the reference below to un-lock your account,

we are here to assist you anytime. Your account security is our priority. Thank you for choosing the bank.

Email Challenge 2: Spot the signs of fraud

Sometimes emails can sound very official to make you think that they are legitimate. But the signs are still there - can you spot them?

From: The Bank Security Team


Voice ID

Thank you for registering your voice ID over the phone. Your Voice ID has been successfully registered into our banking system.

As part of these procedures we will be implementing our two-step authentication feature this will prevent unauthorised access to your account.

If you did not make these changes kindly visit the URL below to secure your account

Get Started

Please note: failure to comply with this request can lead to temporary suspension of access to our online banking service.

Best regards

The bank customer support team

SMS Challenge: Spotting a fraudulent text

What about text messages, can you spot the signs that this is a fraudulent SMS?

Message from: The bank

The bank has noticed your debit card was recently used on 18-07-2020 15.59.03 at APPLE ONLINE STORE for $359. If not you please urgently call fraud prevention on 033333440547. Do not reply by SMS.

Final Check

Put your security skills to the test with these quick-fire questions:


1. A friend at school asked you to tell them your pin number. Do you give it to them?

A. Yes

B. No 

2. You see a social media message offering to pay you for keeping some money safe for somebody in your account. Do you accept? 

A. Yes

B. No 

3. You receive a social media friend request from somebody you don’t recognise. Do you accept?

A. Yes

B. No 

4. You receive a social media request (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) from a friend asking for money. Should you send it? 

A. Yes

B. No 

5. Someone tries to distract you when you are using an ATM machine. Do you turn around? 

A. Yes

B. No 

6. You have lost your bank card. What do you do next? 

A. Nothing

B. Report it to the bank as soon as possible

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