Email, Spam Control, How to report a spam or phishing email

Illinois email addresses are occasionally targeted by phishing attacks or other types of spam mail. Use the Outlook add-in to report a suspicious email message; doing so helps to improve email service protections, spam detection, and threat blocking.

Proofpoint for Outlook Add-in

Illinois accounts set up in the Outlook Web App, the Outlook desktop software, and the Outlook mobile apps are pre-configured to include an add-in from Proofpoint, one of our email security vendors.

Proofpoint for Outlook add-in as it appears in the Outlook desktop software, with buttons labeled "Report Spam" and "Security Actions"

The add-in provides options to block a sender, as well as a Report Spam button. This button is the preferred method for dealing with a potentially malicious message. It will remove the message from your mailbox and send the relevant information about it to our Email and Security groups for analysis. These reports are used to improve the automatic detection and removal of future dangerous emails. This is the preferred method for reporting spam.

The Security team maintains detailed information about the Proofpoint add-in, including screenshots of its use, here: Email, Using the Report Spam Outlook Add-in

Unable to Use the Add-in

If you are using email software that does not have the Proofpoint add-in available, such as Apple Mail, it is strongly recommended that you take a few minutes to log on to the Outlook Web App in your browser and use it there.

If Outlook is not an option, you can also use the Forward as Attachment feature of your email client to send a copy of the email to - this address will provide the Email and Security teams with similar information to the add-in.

If a forwarded message returns a 'bounce' message or seems undeliverable, this is good news: it likely means that similar messages have already been reported and the mail server is preventing their delivery.


If your Illinois-provided work computer does not seem to have the Proofpoint add-in installed, contact the departmental IT group that provided it to you. Many department IT groups' contact information can be found here:

If you have any questions about email delivery or spam filtering, you can contact the Technology Services Help Desk by email at or by phone at 217-244-7000.

Keywordsphishing report spam   Doc ID50007
OwnerEmail Relays E.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2015-04-06 09:38:07Updated2024-05-30 11:19:19
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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