• Phishing11
  • Phishing222
  • Phishing333
  • Phishing41
 Phishing attempts this week             All recent phishing attempts


Is it phishing ?

Scammers and spammers know that people are busy and, most likely, will read their mail quickly with out spending much time looking at the message itself.  It is this characteristic that they are relying on when they send out these messages.  Identifying a phishing attempt can be easy, as long as you know what to look for and take your time to look at the message for the clues indicating it may be a phishing message. 

There is a difference between spam and phishing. Spam is unsolicited email, usually from someone trying to sell something and does not try to obtain personal or confidential information.  Other than cluttering up one's inbox, spam usually does no harm.  To control this type of mail simply flag the item as junk. 

What is phishing and is there more than one type?

Tips and identifying phishing


I replied to a phishing message - now what ?

It happens, you are busy, you just got back from a 2 week vacation and now have to catch up on all of that email in your Inbox.  Then it occurs to you, but a little too late, that last email ... something about it did not look quite right!  You may have just responded to a phishing attempt.  All is not lost, but time can be important so take action quickly to lessen any possible harm. 

More information on what to do (remediation)


Most recent phishing attempts

Phishing on CSU cell phones and CSU office phones

For CSU cell phones: if you receive any messages or calls from 611 or 1-800-331-0500 and prompts you to provide personal information, do not respond. The phone is owned by the University and no personal information is tied to the phone service. No changes can be made by users; only Telecommunications Office is authorized to make any changes to the account.

For CSU office phones: if you receive calls from outside callers claiming that you have placed a call to them without your knowledge (i.e...... your direct number is appearing as caller ID instead of 216-687-2000), than your telephone number may have been “spoofed”.  Please alert Telecommunications if this becomes a recurring issue. We will work with you on an individual basis on how to address the situation.

CSU will never send you an email from an account with the address of (this indicates a student email account); (this indicates a law student email account) or (this indicates an alumni email account).  

If you receive any of the messages similar to those described below, or any of those listed in the archives (items received within the previous 6 months):

  • Do not reply, select any link or open any attachments
  • Mark the item as phishing (this will send the item to Microsoft for review and flag the item as "junk" in your mailbox) or delete the item. 

If the email you received is not listed below, or in the archives, and it contains the hallmark of a phishing attempt, forward the email to so that we can make others aware and take action to minimize any potential negative effects.

Listed below are the more recent phishing attempts detected on CSU accounts.  They are listed by the wording listed within the subject line, followed by a brief description of the email.  To view an example of the email, select the subject listed.

New this week

**** Special Notice ****

If you receive an email from what appears to be an individual you are associated with at CSU, and the email indicates they need to contact you but are unable to do so due they being in a meeting, on the road etc. and requests you email them back, check the email address that the mail was sent from, do not simply look at the name listed as it being sent from.  By looking at the email address, you will note that the mail was not sent from the individual that it initially appears to have been sent from.  These mails are being sent in an attempt to have people reply and then follow up emails will request confidential information, money in the form of cards, or other personal information.  If you receive one of these, DO NOT REPLY, simply delete the item.


  • F-Secure Internet Security - email that claims it is from Microsoft and that they need information concerning your account in order to update their database.  Microsoft does not conduct business in this way, nor do they need this information as they can update your mailbox without any action on your part.  Do not reply to this email.  (11/5)
  • Mailbox Update - email that claims there is / was an issue with your email account and requests you select the embedded link.  Note the email is not from Microsoft or CSU, also neither organization sends emails such as this.  (11/5)
  • Vacancy (Pet Sitting Job) - this is an attempt to obtain money from to recipient of the email.  How this works is an individual will reply saying they are interested, after a few email, the send will state the recipient is hired and as a show of good faith send a pre-payment for services in the form of a check, usually a large sum.  The recipient is asked to to deposit it quickly.  in a few days, the sender sends a notice of regret stating something change and your services are no longer needed, and asks for a partial refund of the money sent, letting you keep a part for any inconvenience.  The recipient sends the refund and then a few days later is notified by their bank that the original check is no good.  The recipient is out the money that they "refunded" (11/5)
  • Please acknowledge this appraisal - email that claims it is an employee appraisal - note the from address is not one of a CSU email address, also it requires you to enter your email address and password - this email is simply an attempt to obtain sign in credentials for email accounts. (11/5)
  • Microsoft account unusual sign in activity - email that claims to be from Microsoft - please note the from address is not a Microsoft address.  Also, Microsoft does not, nor does CSU, every request / require you to sign into your account for any for of verification.  (11/5)
  • Presidential team - this is an unsolicited invitation to join a group of other individuals for a form of research.  This email is questionable , thus if you have not had previous contact with these individuals, it is highly recommended that one does not select any links embedded within the email.  (11/5)
  • Security Alert ... or You account has been hacked ... - email that claims the sender has access to your account and device.  It is an attempt to convince you to send money to them in the form of bit coins.  Do not reply, simply delete the email, the sender is spoofing the email addresses in the email.  Simply scan you device for malware / viruses, and change your passwords if you wish. (10/29)
  • Earn Now - this email implies the availability of employment opportunities, simply select the embedded link and complete the online form.  Note that the link and the address it was sent from do not match.  Do no select the link, it is an attempt to obtain personal information.  If you ever receive any email that you were not suspecting, never select on any embedded links.  If it appears to be associated with an organization you have dealt with, open a browser and manually enter the URL for that organization to investigate further (10/29)

To view a list of these and other Phishing notices that we have received within the past 6 months, please visit the archives.