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Scam Email at Northwestern

Email scams and phishing messages are types of electronic fraud that request recipients to disclose information or perform other potentially harmful actions on behalf of the sender.

These types of emails appear to come from reliable sources like Northwestern or your banking institution, and often contain urgent requests that require the recipient to provide sensitive information―passwords, account numbers, etc.―by either replying to the email directly or by entering this information on a bogus website.

In an effort to prevent email scams from reaching the University’s central email server Northwestern’s Email Defense System (EDS),powered by Proofpoint, blocks the majority of malicious messages from being distributed to the University community.  However, malicious and junk email occasionally slips through this security net.

Use Best Practices

PDF Poster of common phishing tactics.

The best defense against malicious email attempts is an educated user. Click on the graphic to view an enlarged version of common phishing practices, and to print out an 11 x 17 poster.

When you receive any email requesting personally identifiable information, follow these best practices to protect yourself and the University:

Think You Spotted a Scam? Report It!

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of an email claiming to be from Northwestern, compare it to the recent list of attempts at Northwestern. If it is not listed, immediately forward the complete message with email message headers to

Remember,  Northwestern University will never ask for personally identifiable information.

If you believe you have responded to a malicious email, change your NetID password immediately and call the Northwestern IT Support Center at 847-49 1-4357 (1-HELP) to report the scam.

Last Updated: 24 May 2018

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