With increasingly sophisticated e-mail "scams" continually being reported on campus, ITS would like to remind the campus community to be extremely cautious.
Unsolicited e-mail messages that offer business or investment opportunities, that ask for any kind of personal or financial information, or that warn of problems with any accounts you may have are probably scams. Scam messages referencing Ebay and Citibank have recently been reported to ITS.
These e-mail messages often have a very official appearance through the use of recognizable "from" addresses, look-alike corporate logos, and links to authentic-looking web pages.
An e-mail message with any of the following characteristics should be treated as highly suspicious:
- Messages addressed to "Dear madam," "sir," or "subscriber" instead of you personally are suspect. A legitimate company that you do business with will normally use your name in the salutation
- Unsolicited messages requesting any kind of personal information are probably bogus. A legitimate company is very unlikely to request such information via e-mail.
- Messages that are vague or cryptic but that include attachments, passwords, instructions, or links to web pages should be deleted immediately unless you have specific, highly reliable information to the contrary.
- The use of all caps, spelling mistakes, or poor grammar is unlikely to come from a legitimate company.
If you receive a message that has even the slightest indication that it might not be legitimate, always err on the side of caution and either delete it or investigate further before responding. Never
click on any links in a suspicious message, no matter how urgent the message sounds. Messages requesting personal information or that require action to prevent an account from being closed should always be verified by contacting the company cited in the e-mail via a telephone number or website address you know to be genuine (such as one shown on a billing statement).
The following websites are good sources for additional information about e-mail scams and other Internet tips:
Contributed by Karen Sunderland