Office of the Chief Information Security Officer

Phishing Examples


Catch the phish before you click!

A common way cyber criminals gain access to valuable information at Universities is through deceptive emails known as “phishing” messages.

Here are some examples of recent phishing campaigns and instructions on what to do if you spot a suspicious-looking email.

Recent Catches

(Click on each example to zoom)


Spam vs. Phish – what’s the difference?

Spam is unsolicited email, typically sent to a widespread audience, that is usually from someone who is trying to get you to buy something.

A phishing email is a type of spam in which the sender tries to get you take a specific action, such as:

  • Clicking on a link
  • Entering your UW NetID credentials
  • Downloading an attachment

The goal is to either load malicious software (aka malware) onto your computer or device, to steal your UW login credentials to access UW data and resources, or to use those credentials to send more spam.

How to report a phish that specifically targets the UW

If you receive an email in which someone is trying to get you to download an attachment or enter your UW NetID and password onto a fake web page, send the email as an attachment to

UW Medicine employees should cc

If you receive an email in which someone tries to sell you a product (such as cheap medication), forward the message to

Other UW Phishing Resources

Risk Advisory and Best Practices
Online training video
Message to the UW Community
Protecting Your Email – IT Connect (UW-IT website)
Phishing and Spam Email Guidance – UW Medicine IT Services