How to Spot a Phishing Attempt: Tips to Identify Phishing

I recently received an SMS from someone claiming that I had won $850,000.00 through the UK Toyota  Mobile Award, whatever that is. The message required that I send an email to a given address to begin the process of claiming my winnings. The whole thing was, of course, a charade. However, because I am not going to give up free blogging material, I sent a message to the address and, a few hours later, received the response that I have pasted below.  Now to the subject of this post; how to spot a phishing attempt;

  • Phishing attempts come in the form of unsolicited emails or SMSs
  • There are claims that you have won large sums of money
  • If provided with a website where, this usually is only HTTP and not the secure HTTPS.
  • The language in a phishing email is bad. Cyber criminals are apparently not bothered with grammar
  • You are advised to keep the fact that you have “won” secret.
  • Any company logos are obvious ripoffs
  • You are asked to provide personal details, including banking details.
  • Some phishing attempts ask you to pay a certain amount to have your winnings released.


How to Spot a Phishing Attempt

The letter below should tell you everything that you need to learn how to spot a phishing attempt;


Toyota (GB) PLC,PO Box 814,Portsmouth,PO6 9AY

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 744 093 3237


We have received your email in connection with the winning notification that was sent to your Mobile after verifying your Token number. Your mobile number has been awarded with $850,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United State of America Dollar) by UK Toyota  Mobile Award. This award is no doubt, is a gesture to appreciate our customers worldwide and still advertise the use of our products worldwide.

Your Mobile number was extracted from all Toyota Outlet Worldwide and Also Through Telecommunication Companies Directories to enable us run the draw to reach out to both Customers and None Customers and to encourage people to use Toyota as their choice.

The Draw was Electronically Drawn with each mobile number attached to a serial Token number and your number was attached to  TY0010 which falls among the winning token that has been awarded the above stated amount.

To this effect, I want you to understand that all winners from Africa Continent will make their claims through our Central Office in United Kingdom to ensure accountability and transparency and to avoid any form of diversion or double claim, that is why I have been assigned to guide and direct you how to have your prize release to you.

I advise that you keep your winning detail and process very confidential till the prize has been release to you to avoid cancellation which will arise from double claim if someone might have your winning token number or winning exposed.

I wish to acquaint you with the steps that you must follow to receive your funds. On our part, we will do everything to see that you receive your fund at the earliest possible time. We shall work very hard to realize this mandate as we respect your views, opinions and most importantly, protect your privacy. Also note that your winning prize has an INSURANCE BOND guiding it to avoid any form of diversion during transfer.

Kindly provide us with the following information to enable us issue you the Certificate of Award  from our central computer and direct you how to contact the Paying Bank as soon as possible for the release of your funds.

 Full Name………………….



 Marital Status…………….




 Home Phone……………..

 Mobile Phone……………


Your Personal Identification Token (PIN) is 17TY and must be quoted in every correspondence. Details of your winning must be kept confidential until the successful transfer of your fund to you, as any form of double claim will lead to termination of the process.

Once again, I congratulate you personally on your selection and implore you to adhere to our directions in ensuring successful claim. Further guidelines shall be provided to you on our receipt of your personal information.

Congratulations from me and members of  UK Toyota  Mobile Award.

I wait to hear from you and also want you to know that you can call for more clarification.

Kind Regards,

Rev. Paulinus Karner.

(Claims Agent)

How to Spot a Phishing Attempt: Read the Signs

Again, this is an obvious phishing attempt. The simple truth is that there is no father Christmas flying around on the internet. Most of the time, if it appears too good to be true, its probably too good to be true.  I do hope this article has taught you how to spot a phishing attempt.

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