Recognize Spam, Phishing, or Otherwise Suspicious Email


University of Michigan


Addressing any concern about the legitimacy of mail received to a UMICH email account  


Phishing messages can be very clever and will pretend to be related to University of Michigan people or services even when they are not by using our logo or other terminology.

  • Read the message thoroughly and carefully
  • Examine the email for the following characteristics to determine if it is a phishing message:
    • Does the email ask you to visit an external site and log in with your username and password? 
    • Does it use language designed to inspire anxiety or urgency?
      • "Act Now" or "Final Chance" or "similar
    • Does it use poor grammar or spelling?
    • Hover over the link in the email
      • Does it go to a legitimate website?  If not, beware
      • Does the link text match the URL? If not, beware
  • If you determine it is a phishing message, report the phish to Google by using the report phishing option within Gmail.
      • Click the three vertical dots icon next to the Reply icon when viewing the suspicious message
      • Choose Report Phishing
  • Check to see if it has already been reported to our Security team by checking the Phishing Alerts section on the homepage.
      • If the phish hasn't been reported, forward it to
      • Include a list of the actions that you took (did or did not click any links, reported it to Google, etc)
  • NOTE: Please do not forward:
      • Ordinary Spam (no mention of account credentials)
      • External messages not sent by (like PayPal, a bank, etc)
        • Do work with these separate organizations to determine how to proceed if you do have phishing concerns with their services


Additional Information

For more information, see "Phishing & Suspicious Email" on the Safe Computing website at


Article ID: 695
Mon 4/20/20 8:26 AM