Phishing Emails

What is SPAM vs Phishing Emails:

  • SPAM email: Spam email could be defined as unsolicited promotion or marketing email. Spam is also referred to as junk email. The goal of this type of email is not to steal usernames and passwords, personal or financial information. Spam emails are often easy to recognize. Users are advised to simply ignore or delete this type of email from their inbox.
  • Phishing Email: Phishing emails are used by criminals to steal usernames and passwords, personal or financial informat​​​​​​ion, by sending emails that look legitimate with the intention of tricking you into clicking a malicious link or downloading a malicious attachment in the email. Phishing emails often come with a sense of urgency.

If you need help identifying phishing emails, see this article.

If you would like to see examples of phishing emails, see this article.

What if I receive a suspicious or phishing email? Please REPORT IT!

  • DO NOT click on any links, attachments, buttons, or follow any of the actions requested in a suspicious email. 
  • Report the email. See this article  "Report a Suspicious or Phishing Email" for how you can easily do so from your email client.
  • REMEMBER: Saint Mary's University, banks, Canada Revenue Agency etc will NEVER ask for your password, login, or details. 
  • Thank you for contributing to our digital security at SMU!

What if I did click on links or attachments in a suspicious or phishing email?

  • If you clicked on a link or attachment in the suspected phishing email, please contact the Help Desk directly at 902-496-8111, as it requires urgent attention.


If you have any questions about phishing emails only, please contact EIT at

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Article ID: 627
Tue 7/13/21 9:30 AM
Wed 3/15/23 11:42 AM