Don't take the bait

Cybercriminals use phishing—a type of social engineering—to manipulate people to click a link, open a file or share their username and password. Phishing attacks attempt to target your payment card data, gain control of your device or access your accounts. More than 90% of data breaches started with a phishing scam. Additional information about keeping your information secure is available on the CU Office of Information Security webpage.

How to recognize a phishing attack

  • A URL inconsistent with the message (for example, a message that claims it is from the service desk but does not include or in the URL)
  • Spelling errors, poor grammar and odd formatting
  • A reply-to email address that is not from "" or ""
  • A request for a password or other sensitive data
  • Generic greetings, like "Dear customer"
  • Threat to delete account if no action is taken

Remember that legitimate companies and organizations will never ask for passwords, social security numbers, and other sensitive data via email.

How to know if your account is compromised

  • Can’t login to your account because hacker changed the password or it’s clearly disabled or locked
  • Can’t send email to external addresses because Microsoft blocked it
  • Notice missing emails or returned undelivered emails
  • Find an unknown forwarding email or deleting email rule in place
  • See multiple unknown sent items appear in the “Sent Items” folder

Report a phishing attempt

Microsoft Outlook (Desktop Client)

  1. Select the suspicious email in Outlook
  2. Control-Alt-F to forward the suspicious email as an attachment
  3. Email​ with a subject line of "PHISHING" and explain what happened.

Microsoft 365 Webmail

  1. Select New to compose a new email
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the new message, click the icon to compose the message in its own window.
  3. Drag the suspicious email into the body of the new message. This will add the suspicious email as an attachment.
  4. Email​ with a subject line of "PHISHING" and explain what happened.

Mac Mail

  1. Select the suspicious email
  2. Select Message, then Forward as Attachment from the menu bar (or right-click and select Forward as Attachment).
  3. Email​ with a subject line of "PHISHING" and explain what happened.

      If your workstation has been attacked

      1. Stop all actions. Do not turn off the computer.
      2. Contact the OIT Service Desk at 303-724-4357 or 4-HELP and report the incident.