Watch out for Phishing E-mails

Phishing is a fraudulent process used by spammers to acquire sensitive information from users such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. Email recipients are often deceived by phishing attempts since messages appear to be sent by legitimate and trustworthy sources.

Recent examples we’ve seen here or heard of elsewhere include:

  • Messages claiming to be from the university requiring urgent action
  • E-mails claiming to be from banks linking you to fake login portals
  • Claims that a friend or family member is in distress and needs cash urgently, commonly requesting a Western Union money transfer
  • Fake order verifications for electronic items, commonly claiming to be from Amazon.com or the Apple iStore, that direct you to login to a fake vendor website to steal credentials

Use caution and treat any e-mail that seems to demand an urgent response with suspicion.  Take a moment to look it over.  It’s a good idea not to click links in e-mails – especially links to login pages.  Rather type in known sites in web browsers yourself (e.g. my.washburn.edu, amazon.com, citibank.com, etc.) if you need to verify something about your account.

Also, keep in mind that Washburn ITS staff will never ask for your password via e-mail.  Anyone contacting you and asking for your password should be treated with suspicion.

Feel free to contact ITS User Service at 670-3000 or support@washburn.edu if you have any questions about this topic or suspicious messages you have received.

You can also review this earlier ITS blog post to help you learn how to identify phishing messages:

http://blog.washburn.edu/technology/2012/10/02/cyber-security-awareness-anatomy-of-a-phish/

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