Beware: COVID-19 Email Phishing Scams

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 3:31pm
Phishing campaigns have become incredibly sophisticated and, given the right circumstances, anyone can fall for one.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phishing Campaigns

Universities worldwide are reporting COVID-19-related phishing campaigns targeting students and staff. COVID-19 phishing scams are designed to capitalize on anxieties, typically claiming to be an update from a senior official or health authority, containing links to malicious websites and attachments.

What to look out for

A phish could include some or all of the attributes below:

  • Sense of urgency, requiring you to click on a link, attachment, or download a file to get the latest information instead of including it in the message itself.
  • Asks for your username and password
  • Links lead to non-U of T websites
  • Email is from a non-U of T sender
  • Visit the Security Matters’ Phishing Awareness page for more tips on how to spot a phishing attack.


Never respond to a phishing email, click on links or open suspicious attachments.

Examples of COVID-19 Phishing Emails

If you’ve accidentally been phished

More information