Are you being catfished? (cybercrime)

Lesson plan overview

This upper-intermediate and advanced worksheet explores the topic of cybercrime and catfishing in particular. Students learn useful vocabulary and collocations to talk about cybercrime, watch an informative video, talk about the topic and practise with different role-play scenarios. You can combine this lesson with the lesson “How to spot a liar”“Don’t fall for these crypto and NFT scams”, and the worksheet “Phrasal verbs: crime”

Vocabulary: after an initial discussion, student learn different types of cybercrime (e.g. data breach, cyber extortion, catfishing) and discuss how people can protect themselves against each of them, what the negative consequences are for the victim and what punishment would be suitable for each one. In the pre-listening vocabulary activity, student learn noun + verb collocations (extort money, gain your trust, catch them lying) and adjective + noun collocations (social engineering, psychological damage, best-case scenario) by completing 2 short texts.

Listening: Students watch a video “What is catfishing and how to avoid it” and answer several questions related to the video. Then students complete extracts from the video with the correct prepositions to learn idioms and phrasal verbs (something might be up, to keep tabs on someone, lure someone into, fall for) and watch the video again to check their answers.

The lesson concludes with 3 role-play scenarios which provide further opportunity for students to practise the target vocabulary of the lesson.

Homework: 3 research topics are suggested which aim to develop the topic further. The topics, combined with the additional resources provided on provide plenty of extra opportunities for contact with topic-related vocabulary in order to reinforce and enrich it

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

It involves stealing identities and important information, violating the privacy, and committing fraud, among others.
Through identity theft, criminals can steal money.
Most criminals take advantage of viruses to gain unauthorized access to systems and steal important data.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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