Spam, Phishing and Junk Email


Many colleges and universities have recently been the target of email phishing scams which attempt to trick students, faculty and staff into giving away personal information that can be used to access email and personal bank accounts. These scams typically contain email subjects such as, "VERIFY YOUR ACCOUNT" or "Confirm Your E-Mail Address," and may ask you to reply to the message via email or phone with some of the following information:

  • Username
  • Password
  • Account number
  • Birth date
  • Credit card expiration date
  • Credit card pin
Universities and financial institutions never ask for personal account information via email. In addition, the Technology Support Center will never ask for your password via email. Furthermore, any email communication or unsolicited web form asking for this type of information should be closed and deleted.

It is a wise practice to remember that email is, in general, an insecure communication medium. Just as the post office can't verify that the return address on an envelope is the actual address of the sender, email systems can't verify that the sender in the "From:" line is the actual sender of a message. Unless you are explicitly expecting a message from a sender, you should be aware of the insecurities that exist regarding email.

University of Missouri information page on phishing

Microsoft information page on phishing

Spam and Junk emails

What can I do about spam?

You can send email you suspect to be junk, spam, or phishing to as an attachment. Please do not simply forward the email or important information will be lost. The Abuse mailbox is monitored to help improve the performance of spam filtering.

How do I use automatic junk email filtering?

Junk email filtering is available to all University email users on an “opt-out” basis. Junk email filtering does not block junk email, but delivers it to a special folder in your mailbox. This allows you to periodically check the Junk Email folder for messages that may be spam. This feature can be adjusted and turned off in Outlook.