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Did I get your attention? Offering something of value is one of the many ways that scam artists reel you in.
Unfortunately, phishing scams have become a fact of our daily life and if something seems suspicious, it probably is. Whenever you receive a suspicious email, you can report it by sending a copy to Abuse@ufl.edu or by using the KnowBe4 Phish Alert Button, which can be installed through the CLAS Software Center on CLAS IT managed computers. You do not need to send a copy to CLAS IT (we get dozens of these daily).
A good rule of thumb to remember is that we (CLAS IT and other UF staff) will never ask you for your password. It is actually against UF policy for us to ask you for your password (it’s also against UF policy for you to share your password with anyone else).
Many scam emails will have a number of red flags to be aware of, the most common ones include:
– suspicious email address or header
– typos in the message
– asking for personal information (email, financial information, passwords, address, etc)
– threatening or urgent tone
– suspicious links
– vague signatures (“Sincerely, Human Resources”)
– statements that you need to take immediate action to maintain access
Most spam emails will be sorted and deleted automatically, but occasionally you may receive a suspicious email directly in your inbox. When this happens, you can simply delete it and report the phishing scam either by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the Phish Alert Outlook Button, which can be installed using the CLAS Software Center.
As long as you did not click any links or submit your personal information, you will be fine. Be aware that spammers can “spoof” websites to make them appear legitimate while actually being fraudulent. CLAS IT does not need a copy of the suspicious email.
What to do if you responded or clicked a link
If you believe you have been the victim of a phishing scam, you may contact us for help by opening a ticket (https:///it.clas.ufl.edu/forms/request). Otherwise, you can delete the email and/or flag it as spam.
Here is an example of a phishing scam email:
From: "UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA SUPPORT TEAM" <email@example.com> Reply-To: "UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA SUPPORT TEAM" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 20 Jul 2017 17:42:05 -0400 To: <"Undisclosed-Recipient”> Subject: URGENT - CONFIRM YOUR ACCOUNT IMMEDIATELY Dear UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA employee: This mail is to inform all our UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA users that we will be maintaining and upgrading our website in a couple of days from now.As a Subscriber you are required to send us your Email account details to enable us know if you are still making use of your mailbox. Be informed that we will be deleting all mail acount that is not functioning to enable us create more space for new students and staffs of the school, You are to send your mail account details which are as follows: *User Name: *Password: *Date of birth: Failure to do this will immediately render your email address deactivated from our database. Thank you, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA SUPPORT TEAM
Here are some additional resources to help you learn about phishing scams:
- See the “Big Phish” article from the Spring 2017 CLAS IT Newsletter, https://it.clas.ufl.edu/article/big-phish/
- UFIT has published some information on phishing emails, https://security.ufl.edu/learn-information-security/protect-yourself/email/id-theft-scams/phishing-email/
- The FTC has published a web-site with a helpful video, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/scams-affect-all-us?utm_source=govdelivery