Phishing Email Scams With Real Phishing Examples

Phishing emails and phishing scams are dangerous. Phishing emails are hard to spot, look real, and can have devastating consequences. In this post we’ll look at real phishing examples, how to report phishing emails, and how to deal with phishing scams.

Phishing Email Scams Summary:

  • A phishing email could look real
  • We look at some phishing examples
  • Anything can be faked, from sender name to signature
  • There are some basic checks you should do
  • 5 key things to be aware of
  • The one secret to stopping phishing emails

What Are Phishing Emails and Phishing Scams?

Phishing emails are emails that pretend to be from a person or company, but are in fact fake. In business, a phishing email could come in from a regular supplier, informing you they’ve changed their banking details. Your company makes the payment, but the money never reaches your real suppliers, and is stolen in the phishing scam.

Another classic example is a phishing email from Netflix that says “Your account has been suspended”. It asks you to click a link and give your details to reactivate your account. The attackers then harvest those details and either use them to commit fraud, or sell them on the dark web.

Spam emails, as opposed to phishing emails, could be from a legitimate person or company, and are irritating but not necessarily malicious.

Why is phishing so dangerous? Phishing emails and phishing scams account for over 90% of all attacks online, from ransomware to malware, and password theft to data breaches.

A common misconception is that antivirus protects users from phishing emails. Unfortunately, this is not true.

Phishing Examples

Here are some real phishing examples that we at Retruster have caught in 2019:

Real Phishing Examples 2019

This phishing example looks exactly like a legitimate message from Fedex. It's not, and clicking the link leads to a malicious website.



Real Phishing Examples 2019

In this phishing example, the phishing scam gets the recipient excited that they have received money. It's fake of course, and clicking the link leads to the installation of malware on the recipient's system.

Real Phishing Examples 2019

We took out the email address in this phishing email, but it was personally addressed, and the phishing scam makes the recipient think they are not receiving emails.


Real Phishing Examples 2019

Great! Someone has sent you a PDF. What could it be? This phshing example shows that behind a link or button could be anything. A phishing scam is well disguised and plays on curiosity.


Real Phishing Examples 2019

In this phishing example, you can see how fraudsters use real terms and logo's (which we removed in this case) to perpetrate their phishing scam.




Famous Phishing Email Examples

Phishing Example and Awareness In Combating Phishing

The first step in how to stop phishing emails is awareness. You, and the people you work with, have to be as cautious and vigilant online, as you would be outside in the street.

Just like if someone came up to you and offered something too good to be true, or you received a phone call to update your bank password, so too when it comes to online behavior you need to stay alert.

The second part of how to stop phishing emails is understanding – and unfortunately too many people are unaware of this – just how easy it is to send fake, or fraudulent emails. “Apple.com” might be a registered address, but what about the phishing example “apple-overdue-payments.com”? Or “.co”?

These manage to look legitimate, especially if we’re not specifically looking out for them. People even fall for “apple-payments@gmail.com” phishing emails, which may sound silly but again, if you’re not specifically looking out for it, the human eye can just pass over this information. Unfortunately, fraudsters can even, relatively easily, send you emails from real-looking addresses. So next time you get an email from “payments@amazon.com”, there is a chance that it’s not the real thing.

The issue of awareness has really come to the fore lately, with Google publishing warnings and their very own phishing quiz. There are a number of companies and websites that help when it comes to awareness and phishing examples, especially for your employees. These include the likes of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, and our very own Retruster.


Awareness of phishing emails, training and simulation are great first steps, but they only tackle a part of the problem – and sometimes leave you and your organization even more vulnerable than before.

The Latest in Phishing Emails and More Phishing Examples

Take a look at some of the latest research, findings and articles on phishing and fraud:

Phishing Emails and Phishing Scam Reading

Keep up with the latest talks and happenings in the phishing and email fraud space.

Netflix phishing scam targeting Aussies via dodgy emails

"The campaign has been targeting Netflix users across Australia, with users reporting having been sent a phishing email from an address posing as the legitimate support team for the streaming service, with styling and a logo that matches a typical Netflix communication."

Google wants to quiz you on phishing emails

"Google’s Jigsaw unit published a quiz that tests users’ abilities to identify phishing emails. The quiz tests you on a series of emails to see if you can distinguish telltale signs of phishing."

In Fighting Phishing Emails, Hyper-Vigilance Is Hyper-Costly

"Because phishing remains a top attack vector, it deservedly gets a lot of attention. What gets very little attention, however, is the cost of investigating legitimate emails that people mistake for threats."

Retruster Blogs on Phishing Emails With More Phishing Examples

Check out our top-read blog posts on phishing emails, phishing examples, and how to protect yourself


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