Email: Spam Email or Phishing Attack?

Use this guide to determine if unwanted emails in your inbox are phishing attacks or spam.

Spam/ Junk Email Phishing Attack
What is it?

Unwanted advertisements for products or services

Include links to websites offering products or services

Does not typically contain attachments

Does not require immediate action

Want your personal information: credit card number, password, bank account, etc.

Often targeted: Sent to a specific individual or group and contains relevant information. 

Include malicious links or attachments to fake websites, malware downloads, or documents. 

May appear to be from a person or organization you know in order to gain your trust.

Has a sense of urgency
What should I do? Should be reported using the Report Junk Button Should be reported using the Report Phish Button

* Some spam emails (2.3%) are also phishing attacks. 

Shared Traits
Unsolicited You didn’t ask for the email
Harmful - Both either attempt to steal your information or waste your time
Illegitimate - Use techniques like spoofing to make it to your inbox

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Questions or concerns? Contact the UNIT Help Desk at



Article ID: 142903
Wed 11/2/22 10:08 AM
Mon 6/26/23 2:33 PM