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Tech Tip: Phishing Scams Revisited

Posted on Jun 21, 2010

The scammers are at it again.  Recent bouts of 'Phishing' emails have again hit the campus.  We'd like to use this week's Tech Tip to review some of the Do's and Don'ts concerning scam emails. View our original Phishing Scam Tech Tip.
In this review, we will use the recommendations provided by the University of Madison.


Phishing is the use of email and fraudulent web sites to trick people into disclosing personal financial or identity information, such as credit card or Social Security numbers, user names (e.g., NetID), passwords and addresses. Although most "phishes" come as email, phishing scams can also come in the form of text messages and phone calls.

An email message may look harmless. Posing as your credit card company or even the University of Wisconsin, it alerts you to a problem with your account and urges you to respond immediately by clicking a web link and "verifying" or "updating" your account information. The email and the web site may appear official, with all the familiar logos and corporate phrases. But they're bait, presented to fool you into divulging your personal financial information.
 

  • Don't click any links in the email. Instead, phone the company or do an Internet search for the company's true web address.
  • Don't use forms that are embedded in the body of an email (even if the form appears legitimate). Only provide information over the phone or on a secure Web site (look for a Web address that starts with https://, not just http:// and for a padlock icon in the corner of the browser window).
  • Don't open email or attachments from unknown sources. Many viruses arrive as executable files that are harmless until you start running them. .jpg file attachments have recently become a new format for spreading viruses.
  • Do use common sense. If you have any doubts, don't respond.  Contact the Tech Services Helpdesk at 8300 to ask for advice.
  • Do be wary of unsolicited messages. Even though you may recognize the name of the sender, scam artists sometimes use these tactics to get personal information from you. Never give out your username, password, credit card or social security number in response to an unsolicited request.

Please direct any questions to the Helpdesk at x8300 or email helpdesk@uwsuper.edu.

View a complete archive of Tech Tips.

News Contact: Wayne Gilroy | 715-394-8068 | wgilroy{atuws}
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