Information Security
Protect Your Information and Identity
Identifying an Email Scam

The act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft is called “phishing”.

How to detect a phishing email

  • Check the email header and verify the sender
  • Check links before clicking
  • Review the email for generic greetings, grammar and spelling errors, and requests to enter private information on a redirected link
  • Compare the email to a similar one from the same company

Most importantly, be cautious of any email requesting your NetID passwords, Social Security Number, or credit card information. Northwestern University will never ask for personally identifiable information.

If you are still unsure and you click a link taking you to a login page that appears to be legitimate, type in the wrong password first. A verified source will only authenticate you with the correct password.

For more information, see Scam Email at Northwestern