With increasingly sophisticated e-mail "scams" continually being reported on campus, Public Safety and ITS would like to remind the campus community to be extremely cautious with regard to unsolicited e-mail messages that offer business or investment opportunities or that ask for any kind of personal or financial information.
Unwary people who respond to such messages may become victims of identity theft or suffer significant financial loss.
One of the more popular scams is the Nigerian-based "Advance Fee Fraud," which claims that you can earn a substantial sum of money in exchange for helping to transfer millions of dollars to a U.S. bank account. Another recent e-mail scam claims that you are entitled to a large inheritance as you may be the only surviving relative of a wealthy family from a foreign country that has recently died in a car accident. Yet another popular theme in scam e-mails is the request for personal, financial, or account information related to online services such as PayPal.
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. As the old adage says, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
An e-mail message with any of the following characteristics should be treated as highly suspicious: