Home Spam, Phishing, and Suspicious Email
Spam, Phishing, and Suspicious Email
What are Spam and Phishing?
Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited—usually undesired—bulk messages indiscriminately. Some spam is merely annoying, while other spam can result in a number of very bad outcomes for unsuspecting recipients.
Phishing is a specific type of spam. Phishing or spoofing is the term used for deceitful or fraudulent emails designed to trick people to provide personal information that leaves them vulnerable to identity theft, computer viruses, and compromised email accounts. The number and sophistication of phishing scams continues to increase. Non email types of phishing include phony websites or phone calls that ask the potential victim to supply or verify personal information.
Spear Phishing is an even more insidious form of phishing, where criminals impersonate U-M officials to trick you. Watch a short video to learn about spear phishing.
U-M or any other reputable institution will NEVER ask students, faculty or staff to confirm their identity, or provide confidential or personal information by email.
When you cross the street, you look both ways to make sure it's safe. Staying safe on the Internet is similar. It takes some common sense steps—Stop. Think. Connect.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.
Recognizing a Phishing Message
Tips to Avoid Getting Phished
How to Report Phishes
If you receive an email that you suspect is a phish that appears to come from U-M, forward the entire original message with full headers displayed to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no way to trace the origin or source of an email without the full headers.
I Responded to a Phish. Now What?
If you responded to a message that may have been a phish, follow the instructions at Compromised Accounts. You should carefully review any online account that became vulnerable as a result of responding to the message. For additional guidance, contact the ITS User Advocate.
It is important to keep your computer's browser up-to-date with all security patches applied. ITS uses Microsoft Forefront for spam and virus detection. In addition, there is an ITS service that can further reduce the amount of spam that you receive on your U-M email account.
Still have questions?
View questions and answers from the U-M community about spam and phishing.
Last modified: September 19 2013.