Information Technology Services

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Examples of Phishing E-mails

Most phishing e–mails can be easily identified by taking a closer look at the e–mail. See some of the telltale signs that are highlighted in the example e–mails below. These are all actual e–mails that have been receieved by members of the University of San Diego community.

Alert BellTips for Identifying a Phish (PDF).


From: University Of Sandiego []
Sent:Friday, February 18, 2011 6:35 AM
Subject: New Update Message
Importance: High

Pending the completion of the security upgrade at Sandiego University, all customers are required to update their information to the new security system to enhance a faster, easier and extremely secure online.

Login Here : -

Un-updated accounts run the risk of account termination.

If your account is not updated within 48 hours then your ability to access your account will become restricted.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you.


From: Henderson, Nicole []
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 4:42 PM
Subject: Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit

Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit which is 20GB as set by your administrator,you are currently running on 20.9GB, you may not be able to send or receive new mail until you re-validate your mailbox. To re-validate your mailbox please copy this link on your browser, do not click but copy:

System Administrator


From: University of San Diego []
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:01 AM
Subject: Update Your Profile Account

Welcome To University of San Diego

This is to inform you that your University of San Diego Webmail profile needs to be updated. To access your University of San Diego Webmail Secure profile,

Click here to re-login <>

Update Your Profile Account

Thanks For Your Co-operation.
University of San Diego Webmail Security Team.


From: MySanDiego Electronic Mail <>
Date: August 1, 2010 7:11 AM
Subject: Your Email Suspension Notice !

USD Logo

Dear University Of San Diego customers,

Due to a recent upgrade in our server, we are currently reviewing member's account and we request you to please take just a second out of your time to comply with this upgrade for effect on your account, click the link to login. :

Click above link to confirm your account.
Failure to comply might lead to suspension or problem accessing your account.
Thank you for using University San Diego Webmail


From: Security Department <>
Date: June 7, 2010 6:53:26 PM PDT
Subject: Important Security Alert
Reply-To: ">" <>

Dear Valued Member,

A scheduled maintenance has just been completed on the –mail Services. In order to keep your account active and running, you will be required to immediately login to your e-mail account by clicking on the “Login to E–mail” link stated below:

Login to E–mail <>

We apologize for any inconveniences caused.

Security Department.


From: Account Admin [mailto:e–mails@e–]
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 2:27 PM
Subject: Your e–mail Account Suspend Notification

Dear User,

Due to concerns for the safety and integrity of our e–mail service...we have issued this warning message you.

We have noticed that your e–mail account needs to be verified/confirmed, as we have notice so many unwanted spamm emails in your mail box folders.

You are hereby to verify your email account underwise your account will be terminated and you will no longer be able to access your email account anymore.

To verify your e–mail account,please click on the Link below to verify your e–mail Account:

Verify/Confirm Your e-mail Account <>

For further information, please contact our Customer Services.

Note: Failure to Verify/Confirm email account wethin 48hrs may result in further Account Suspend or eventual account closure.

Sincerely, ....................
Thank You

? 2010 e–mail Account Admin.


From: Webmail Administrator [mailto:daneja@k–]
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:27 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: ∗∗Notification Alert∗∗

Attn: WEBMAIL ACCOUNT Subscriber:

This mail is to inform all our { E–mail Account Users} that there we will be upgrading our site in a couple of days from now. So you as a Subscriber of our webmail e–mail account users, you are required to send us your Email account details so as to enable us know if you are still making use of your mail box. Furthermore, be informed that we will be deleting all E–mail Account that is not functioning so as to create more space/room for new user. so you are to send us your original mail account details which are as follows:

∗User name:
Date of birth:

Failure to do this will immediately render your email address/account deactivated from our database. You can also confirm your email address by logging into your webmail account if it’s still active before sending it to us.

Thank you for using our Webmail Email Account!

Yours In Service.
The Webmail Email Support Team
Webmail Admin Service.


We would like to inform you that we are currently carrying out scheduled maintenance and upgrade of our account service and as a result of this your accounts have to be upgraded.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

To maintain your account, you must reply to this email immediately and enter information below:

Email Address :..........................
Password: ........................

Failure to do this within 48 hours will immediately render your account deactivated from our database.

Thank you for using our Services!

© WEBMAIL ACCOUNT ABN 31 088 377 860 All Rights Reserved.
E-Mail Account Maintenance University of San Diego


From: USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Update 2009 <>
Reply-To: USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Update 2009 <>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 07:54:29 -0800
Subject: USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Update 2009

Dear Subscriber.

This Email is from USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer service and we are sending it to every customer Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of accounts so we are shutting down some accounts and your account was among those to be deleted.

We are sending you this email to so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account.If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below. Your User name,password,date of bith and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

Due to the congestion in all USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Service and removal of all unused Accounts, would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours

for security reasons.

* Username: ...
* Password: ...
* Date of Birth: ...
* Country Or Territory: ...
* Telephone...

After following the instructions in the above, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request.
We apologize for any inconveniences.

Warning!!! USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Service Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after 5days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

USD University Webmail Login Service Online Customer Update 2009.

PeoplePC Online
A better way to Internet


Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2009 01:38:33 –0800
To: Webcoordinator <>

Dear WebMail User,
We would like to inform you that we are currently performing a scheduled maintenance and improvement of our email service and as a result of this, we have changed our email client and your password will be adjusted. To keep your WebMail account, you must reply to this email immediately and enter your current email and password below
E-mail ID:
E-mail Password:
Failure to do this within 72 hours, would immediately render your email account deactivated from our database. Once again your urgent response to this email is appreciated and We apologize for any inconvenience this would cause you during this period.

Thanks for your understanding.
© ABN 31 088 377 860 All Rights Reserved.


From: ADMIN []
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2009 7:42 AM
Subject: Help Desk Notice

The Helpdesk Program that periodically checks the size of your e-mail space is sending you this information. The program runs weekly to ensure your inbox does not grow too large, thus preventing you from receiving or sending new e-mail. As this message is being sent, you have 18 megabytes (MB) or more stored in your inbox. To help us reset your space in our database,

please enter your current user name ( )

and your password ( )

You will receive a periodic alert if your inbox size is between 18 and 20 MB. If your inbox size is 20 MB, a program on your Webmail will move your oldest e-mails to a folder in your home directory to ensure you can continue receiving incoming e-mail. You will be notified this has taken place.

If your inbox grows to 25 MB, you will be unable to receive new e-mail and it will be returned to sender. All this is programmed to ensure your e-mail continues to function well.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Help Desk.