Can You Spot the Phishing Schemes?

Are you safe from phishing schemes? Can you tell the difference between a real and a fake email? Take this quiz and find out!

Can you guess what sport people spend more money on in the US per year than anything else? Football? Maybe you remember the $133,000 ticket for the Finals last year and you say basketball. Well, it’s actually fishing, because Americans spent more than $41 billion last year. That doesn’t include industrial fishing, like Deadliest Catch, though sometimes it seems like it’s a pretty intense experience.

Want to know how much Americans spent on phishing last year? (Hint: This is NOT a sport you ever want to be involved in?)

Phishing, not fishing, is also expensive, though it’s not very sporty. On average, every large company spend $3.7 million, with more than half a billion dollars spent every year. That means that people fell prey to phishing schemes, and it cost them a lot. Maybe not as much as they spend on fishing, but there is a big difference between money you want to spend, and money you don’t have to spend on things you want.

So the takeaway is that Americans care a lot more about fishing than phishing? Hopefully, it’s more than that. YOU and everyone at your company should be concerned about the dangers of fishing because if you spent all your money on that new fishing boat, you’re not going to have money to buy your data back after you get hacked.

If you want to have fun fishing and not be phished, you need to learn how to spot phishing websites and emails, so you don’t get caught. Take the quiz above to see if you can spot the real from the fake! The quiz comes from OpenDNS, a Cisco company. Yes, it looks a little outdated, but it’s a great start. You have to look for the details, for the clues that are dead giveaways for the real intent of the email. Here are some better examples, with a little help to get you thinking.

Here’s a good example of an email you might receive. Everyone has to interact with the IRS, and they are not known for having the best-looking website. Why is this email fake? Notice the “from” field. ””? And Reply-to is “”? No matter what you do, don’t click on the “Get Started” link, because the IRS definitely does not send emails from

Another email address in the “from” field that isn’t legit. You can’t always know whether they are fake or not. Pay attention to other details, like the logo for example. Costco has 3 blue lines before the word “wholesale” in the logo. And what company gives refunds of 21% less just because of Christmas? No one. Also, do you even have a membership to Costco?

The “from” field is very likely a giveaway, but not always. Read the message. Does Amazon give “shopping points” and what about all the dashes in “your-coupon-card”? This seems pretty phishy if you ask me!

That’s the actual location of Lehigh University. And the link goes to, which is their actual website. But wait, does it really? Hover over, or right click to copy the link or inspect it. Paste it and you’ll see that it’s not the website you were looking to go to.

Regardless of what’s real or fake, phishing schemes cost a lot of money and could cost you a lot more than your next fishing trip with Grandpa. Don’t fall victim to phishing. Share this quiz to help others stay safe, too!