Phishing email attacks

Phishing attacks attempt to steal sensitive information through emails, websites, text messages, or other forms of electronic communication that often appear to be official communication from legitimate companies or individuals. 

Phishers typically attempt to steal usernames and passwords, credit card details, bank account information, or other credentials. They use the stolen information for malicious purposes, such as hacking (accessing a computer system without permission), identity theft, or stealing money directly from bank accounts and credit cards.

Useful advice

You should keep your LJMU account details as secure as your personal banking details. Here are some common sense security tips:

  • Don't write your password down
  • Don't base your password on something obvious, such as name or telephone number.
  • Do Try and combine letters and numbers in your password, such as finance356 - this makes passwords far more difficult to guess.
  • For further security, consider combining UPPER and lower case characters.
  • NEVER tell anyone your password

Your username and password are your responsibility. You must never allow anyone else to use your account - to do so will result in a sanction on your computing facilities and could lead to disciplinary action.

Will LJMU ever ask me for my password?

No - we will NEVER ask you for your password either on the phone or via email.


What should I do if I receive an email that I think is a phishing email?

If you receive an email that appears to be from LJMU (or another source) asking you to provide your username and password - do not respond

Whilst the email may look as though it has come from LJMU (or another legitimate source) it is an example of a "phishing" email, used to gain access to your account details.

If you are unsure, please contact the IT Services Helpdesk on 0151 231 5555 for advice. We can also report it as a phishing email in order to block future emails. 

Approximately 80% of phishing emails sent to the University are already blocked automatically (more details below).  However, the attackers are usually one step ahead, and regularly change the email address they send from, or the ‘IP Address’ of their computer to prevent their messages being blocked.  Phishing emails are also becoming more sophisticated and looking more authentic than ever, so it’s important to be vigilant at all times. 

It’s common for phishers to use phrases such as the following in their messages, so be extra wary if you see these or something similar in a message, even if it looks authentic:

"Verify your account."

"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."

"Dear Valued Customer."

"Click the link below to gain access to your account."


What should I do if I have already responded to the email?

  • Change your LJMU password immediately.
  • If you use the same password on other websites e.g. your online bank, you will need to change it there, you will also need to notify your bank.
  • Contact IT Services and we will advise further.

Please note: IT Services are obliged to report responders to the Data Protection Officer as a possible data breach may have occurred.



How many emails are already blocked (see example)

Phishing Stats

More Phishing Stats

Email recipient sending limitations

To minimise the risk of abuse of the LJMU email system, a maximum of 300 unique recipients can be emailed within a 24 hour period. NB: a distribution list counts as one recipient. The vast majority of users will not be affected by this limitation, however if the limit is exceeded, a warning notice will be displayed in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Webmail.


Advice from Microsoft

For further guidance and information, see Microsoft's Phishing Advice