What to Do With Suspected Spam or Phishing Email


Pima College has adopted a new, more secure method of reporting spam or phishing email to IT security. The previous method involved forwarding the message, but that practice is now strongly discouraged. Instead, students, staff, and faculty are required to use Gmail’s Report Spam function.

This function automatically alerts IT to the suspect email, and it helps train Google AI spam filters to keep similar future emails from reaching your inbox. Note there is no perfectly effective way to screen out spam or phishing emails.

For more details about spam and phishing, see Definitions at the end of this article.

Report Spam/Phishing in Gmail

Use either of the two methods below to mark an email as spam, which both moves it to the spam folder and alerts Pima’s IT cybersecurity specialists about the suspect email.

Method 1:

  1. In the main viewing page of your inbox, place a check mark in the box next to the email or emails in question.
  2. Click the stop sign icon at the top, as shown here.

You can watch a video of the marking process and get more information on Google’s support website.

Method 2:

  1. View the email message as you normally do.
  2. Click the three vertical dots at the top right corner of the message.
  3. Click Report spam.

Full System Scan and Reset MyPima Password

If you clicked a link in the spam or phishing email, you should perform a full system scan. If you also downloaded a file from the suspect email, perform the full system scan and reset your MyPima password.

Full System Scan

Follow the steps below to initiate a full system scan. Or you can watch a video of the scan process.

  1. Use either of the two methods below to open the Cisco Secure Endpoint app so you can start a full system scan:
    Method 1:
  1. In the lower-right corner of your screen, show the hidden icons by clicking the up arrow on the taskbar.
  2. Double-click the Cisco Secure Endpoint icon. The Secure Endpoint window opens.

Method 2:

  1. In the Search box on the taskbar, type Cisco.
  2. Click Open. The Secure Endpoint window opens.
  1. Click Scan Now.
  2. Click Full Scan.

A scan progress window shows details of the process.

  1. When the scan is complete, if it shows “no threats detected,” then click Close, otherwise see Other Considerations below.

Reset MyPima Password

Reset your password if you clicked a malicious link or downloaded an attachment from the suspect email.

  1. Log into MyPima.
  2. On the Home tab, locate the Personal Info section in the upper-right corner, and then click Change Password.

  1. Follow the prompts to enter your username and current password, and then enter and verify your new password.

Other Considerations

If one or more of the following apply, contact your campus service desk (see below) for help in troubleshooting:

  • You downloaded an attachment from the spam/phishing email and the Full System Scan resulted in a message that it detected threats.
  • Computer is behaving abnormally, such as freezing, noticeably slower performance, numerous pop-ups, multiple restarts, and so forth.
  • You have other concerns about or indications of compromised OS or software.

If you have any of these issues, you may need to have your computer reimaged. You should be aware that reimaging the computer completely erases its storage drives and memory, so any documents or other files you want to keep should be backed up to an external storage device, such as a Google drive folder or shared file drive.

Service Desk: 520-206-4900
Phone support: Mon–Thu 7am–6pm, Fri 7am–5pm
Onsite support: Mon–Thu 7am–6pm, Fri 7am–5pm


Spam: An unwanted, unsolicited email, frequently containing advertising.

Phishing:  A fraudulent email designed to trick you into either downloading a malicious file or clicking a link to a page that tricks you into giving away sensitive personal information such as your Pima username and password or even your social security and credit card numbers.

Some characteristics of spam or phishing attacks are an email that:

  • Is unexpected or from an unfamiliar source.
  • Contains abnormal text characters, misspellings, or incorrect grammar and syntax.
  • Is written to sound urgent and asks you to download a file or click a link.
  • Pretends to be encrypted to get you to create a login.

For more detailed information about spam and phishing attacks, including a link to cybersecurity training, see the Cybersecurity intranet page.

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Article ID: 154591
Fri 3/24/23 5:25 PM
Wed 3/27/24 1:14 PM

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