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How can I tell if an email or phone call is a phishing attempt?

Remember: FSU will never ask you for your FSUIDĀ and password in an email or phone call.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a fraudulent process used by spammers to acquire sensitive information from users. Phishing attempts through email are designed to entice you to give away your FSUID and password. Phishing emails will have wording that makes it appear that you will lose something (file storage, email access, etc.) if you don't do what the email asks of you. You will usually be asked to click on a link and the resulting website will ask you to login with your FSUID and password.

Clues to Identify Phishing

  • Request for your username and password. Again, FSU will never ask for your FSUID and password in an email or phone call.
  • Threat that you will lose something (cutting off a service, suspending an account, etc.) if you don't act in a timely manner. The goal of cybercriminals is to make the situation seem dire so that the victim feels obligated to provide personal information.
  • Notification that your computer or device is infected and/or broken. Non-solicited information regarding the stability of your computer should not be trusted.
  • Incorrect grammar and/or spelling. Cybercriminals use this as a tactic to bypass spam filters. FSU has established processes to ensure the spelling and grammar in emails are reviewed for accuracy.
  • A link that will solve your problem. If you are asked to click a link in a suspicious email, do not click it.
  • A cost for solving your problem. FSU will not solicit upfront payments for troubleshooting or repairs.

If You Think an Email is a Phishing Attempt

  • Do not click any links in the email.
  • Verify whether or not an email claiming to be from FSU is legitimate by calling the ITS Service Desk at 644-HELP (850-644-4357).
  • If you confirm that an email is a phishing attempt or another form of spam, forward the email with headers to (click here to learn how to get email headers).

If you believe that your account information has been compromised, immediately change your password and review the ITS compromised accounts FAQ.