What does spam look like?

Spam emails will often try to imitate the look and tone of legitimate financial institutions in hopes of convincing you to trust them with confidential or sensitive information. To avoid being fooled by a fraudulent email, follow these steps:

  • Never give away your personal information via email - Legitimate institutions will never ask you to disclose your address, birthday or PIN through email correspondence.
  • Never click a link to a login page - A fake email might contain a link to a login page that looks very similar to your bank's login page. Do not be fooled. If you receive an email from your bank telling you to log into your account, ALWAYS type your bank’s URL directly into your browser.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is - Many phishing emails will try to entice you with exciting offers and deals. Do not open emails that seem suspicious.

How can you reduce the spam in your inbox?

There are some steps you can take to significantly reduce the amount of spam you receive:

  • Don't give your email address out arbitrarily - It is common for mailing lists to be sold or shared between companies. If an email address isn't required, simply don't share it.
  • Check privacy policies - Before submitting your email address online, look for a privacy policy. Most reputable sites will have a link to their privacy policy from any form where you're asked to submit personal data. Read this policy before submitting your email address or any other personal information to know what the owner of the site plans to do with it.
  • Be aware of default options - Online forms often have default options to receive emails about other products and services. If you don't want to receive regular emails, be on the lookout and uncheck these items on the form.
  • Consider opening an additional email account - Open a free alternate email account (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) and give this address when shopping online, signing up for services, completing forms or posting your address on public sites. This will protect your primary email account from any spam that might be generated.

How To Report Spam

Here are steps that you can take to report any spam you receive.

  1. View the headers of the spam email. This will show the original sender of the message. Read the Viewing Email Headers Knowledge Base article for step-by-step instructions.
  2. Report the spam to an official source. Depending on the type of spam received, there are different options for where to send your complaint. For more information, see the US Department of Justice website.

If you need assistance, contact helpdesk@tamu.edu. Please include the full headers of a message so that we can help determine where it originated.