Guide: What to Do If You Have Been Phished


  • I responded to a phishing email with my personal information; what should I do?


  • Oregon State University
  • Student, Employee or Associate


Phishing is a malicious tactic designed to collect your personal information. Typically the attackers intends to either use your login credentials, financial or other information to commit identity theft.


If you have responded to a phishing attempt, we recommend you take the following steps to protect your identity:

  • If you provided your Social Security number (SSN), driver's license number, date of birth, credit card information or bank account information, please report the incident to law enforcement; OSU community members may report by contacting OSU Public Safety at 541-737-3010.
  • If you provided bank account information, please contact your bank and ask them how to proceed to protect your account
  • If you provided credit card numbers, please contact the number listed on the back of your credit card
  • If you provided Social Security or other government-issued identity number such as driver’s license or passport, we recommend you put a freeze on your credit to help fight identity theft.
  • You may receive additional phishing emails related to this one. Do not click on any links, or open any attachments, in emails that seem to be in response to this one.
    • Please send all phishing emails you receive (using forward as attachment) to This will help us take down/block any malicious sites used in this phishing scheme.
  • Sign up for an online account with the Social Security Administration
    The information about you provided contains enough information for a criminal to open an account in your name. Do it before they do!
    Go to to sign up.
  • Place a security freeze on your credit file with each of the major credit bureaus
    This is the single most effective thing you can do to prevent identity theft that is financially motivated. A security freeze blocks creditors from being able to view your credit file unless you take action to unfreeze your file beforehand.
    Yes, there is a small fee associated with it (some do it for free.) Yes, it is a bit of a pain. But it is a lot less painful than having to deal with a destroyed credit rating, having collection agencies hound you for payments, and dealing with all the other problems associated with having your identity stolen.
    To place a freeze, visit these sites: Note: You’ll get a PIN from each of the sites to unfreeze your credit. Do not forget that PIN! Write it down and store it in a safe place.
  • Check your credit report at least annually. Each of the major credit reporting bureaus are required to provide you a free copy of your credit report each year. You can get a copy of yours by visiting Mark a date on your calendar, check it when you do your taxes, or on your birthday. But at least once a year.
  • File your taxes before a fraudster does. If you haven’t filed your taxes this year, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. 


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.

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Article ID: 72205
Mon 2/18/19 2:09 PM
Fri 1/5/24 4:41 PM