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Be Wary of Email "Phishing" Scams

Contributed by Kris Monroe on 08/05/13 

ITS has received reports that some user credentials at other institutions have been "phished" and then used to change direct deposits to unauthorized bank accounts controlled by fraudsters. Given this recent information we want to remind all email users to NEVER respond to email messages requesting passwords or other personal information.

ITS regularly receives reports of email "phishing" scams which request that users provide their email username, password, date of birth or other personal information. The fraudulent messages often claim that some type of account will be disabled or deleted if the recipient doesn't confirm or update the account by providing personal information.

Users should never respond directly to (either by sending a reply to or clicking a link in) these types of email messages.

Instead, verify the authenticity of the message by contacting the company or department cited in the email via a telephone number or website address known to be genuine (such as one shown on a billing statement). 

Also, here are some message characteristics that should make the recipient suspicious of the legitimacy:

  • Messages from non-Ithaca email addresses (if the message is related to any kind of IC account)
  • Messages with a generic salutation such as “Dear Account Owner”
  • The use of all caps, spelling mistakes, or poor grammar
  • Messages with a vague subject

For more information on phishing schemes visit the Protecting Your Identity section of the ITS Information Security webpage.

ITS Helpdesk
104 Job Hall

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