Phishing Alert: Account Update Needed

A new phishing message was sent today, December 5, 2014, to the Auburn University community. To learn about about phishing, visit

Email Message

Here's a screen shot of the latest email. Can you spot the signs of a phishing attempt?

Today's Phishing Email

  1. Return Address: The email identifies itself as "Auburn University" and the return address is "".
  2. Generic Greeting: "Dear Portal User"
  3. Urgent/Threatening Language: "failure to update might process your portal account as inactive"
  4. Inconsistent Language: The first paragraph says to use the link below and then they provided two links
  5. Unofficial Communication Source: Email is never sent out from a "Portal" account.
  6. Dangerous URL: The link is not an Auburn University web address. It was pointing to

Landing Pages

You shouldn't have clicked the link, but if you had it would have taken you to the following page. Notice the phishing signs?

  1. Page is Not Secure: Look out! Never log into a website that does not have a proper security certificate. Look for the Lock icon in the address bar (usually should be green).
  2. Bad URL: Check out that URL -- that's not an Auburn University website!
  3. This website is very convincing, but don't be duped.

    Today's Phishing Email

    Today's Phishing Email

Did You Fall for It?

  1. Immediately change your university password and any other accounts that use the same login information.
  2. Contact the OIT HelpDesk and let them know.
  3. Run a virus scan of your system using your anti-virus software.
  4. If you believe you may be the victim of identity theft, visit: Federal Commission for Identity Theft
  5. Forward the phishing email "as an attachment" to and then DELETE the message from your Inbox.
  6. Regularly check your banking and credit card accounts for any unauthorized transactions that may have been initiated by the phishers.


  • DO NOT reply to email with any personal information or passwords. If you have reason to believe that the request is real, call the institution or company directly.
  • DO NOT click a link in an unsolicited email message. If you have reason to believe the request is real, type the web address for the company or institution directly into your web browser.
  • DO NOT use the same password for your University account, bank, Facebook, etc. In the event you do fall victim to a phishing attempt the thieves will try the compromised password in as many places as they can.
  • DO change ALL of your passwords if you suspect any account you have access to may be compromised.
  • DO be equally cautious when reading email on your phone. It may be easier to miss telltale signs of phishing attempts when reading the email on a smaller screen.

Last Updated: August 23, 2016