Phishing Warning: October 3rd, 2019: “Validate your e-mail”

USC users have reported receiving phish emails from a compromised account impersonating USC similar to the example listed below.  If you have received a similar phish, do not reply or click the embedded link within the message.

Sample of email:

From: University of Southern California <******>
Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 2:07 PM
To: “******” <******>
Subject: Validate your e-mail

This is a final notification to all Students, Staffs of  University of Southern California that we are deleting in-active accounts.Validate your email address to keep your account active. Failure to do this within 24 hours, your account will be deleted.


Validate Email Account




IT Help Desk

Office of Information Technology

University of Southern California

If you have received this phish, do not respond or click the embedded link. If you have responded or clicked the link and were asked to disclose your USC NetID password, change your USC NetID password immediately by going to the Popular Logins menu bar on the ITS website and clicking the link labeled change your password.


As phishing campaigns become increasingly sophisticated and harder to detect, we urge you to use extreme caution when clicking links in messages or attachments you receive from unknown senders. While antivirus programs may automatically scan messages for embedded malware, they do not automatically scan for malicious links in attachments.

OCISO encourages you to consider the following tips when handling suspicious email:

  • If you are unable to see (remember to hover over the link to see the actual destination) or do not recognize a link’s destination URL, do not click the link.
  • Never provide personal information, such as your passwords, social security number, or bank information, on a website you access by following a link in an unsolicited email or attachment.
  • If you must open an email attachment, first scan it using your antivirus software. To scan an attachment on a PC or Mac running USC’s free Sophos Antivirus, save the attachment to your desktop, right-click the file, and choose Scan with Sophos Antivirus.  You may download the latest Sophos anti-virus at

We would be more than glad to answer any additional questions or concerns at