Phishing attempts are fraudulent email messages that appear to come from legitimate enterprises (e.g., your university, your Internet service provider, your bank). These messages direct you to divulge private information (e.g., passphrase, credit card, or other account updates).
These scams are designed to induce panic in the reader. They attempt to trick recipients into responding or clicking immediately, by claiming they will lose something (e.g., email, bank account). Such a claim is always indicative of a phishing scam, as responsible companies and organizations will never take these types of actions via email.
Things to know and remember when opening ANY e-mail that is asking you to provide information:
– No reputable organization, including OIT, will ever ask you for confidential information via e-mail.
– Never respond to an e-mail from a source you are not 100 percent sure of. When in doubt, call them.
– Always check the authenticity of a Web site before you provide any of your personal information.
– Never click on a link in a suspicious e-mail because it may take you to a malicious site. Open a new browser window and type in the link manually.
– Phishing e-mail will often have a sense of urgency. (“Your account will be closed if you don’t…” etc.) They may also contain strange words, misspelled words or unusual or awkward phrasing to help them avoid SPAM-filtering software.
With the recent rise in phishing activity, be suspicious of any email message that asks you to enter or verify personal information through a website or by replying to the message itself.