Don't get hooked by phishing scams
Tricks used by identity thieves to compromise accounts and install malware continue to grow in number and sophistication.
April 17, 2018
Phishing is a social-engineering method in which the phisher uses email or a phone call to lure unsuspecting recipients into giving their personal, financial or other sensitive information to commit identity theft, gain access to their accounts or hack their computer. The email or call normally appears to come from a legitimate person and may even target a specific group (e.g., members of the MSU Denver community), which is known as spear phishing.
Several MSU Denver students, faculty and staff members recently got hooked by phishing email messages, so it is increasingly important to be vigilant in identifying possible phishing messages and protecting yourself from these scams.
Information Technology Services offers the following tips to help you avoid falling prey to phishers:
- Scrutinize all emails before downloading attached files or clicking links. Verify that the email address of the sender is legitimate and someone you know.
- Don’t click on unrecognized links. Want to know where a link is going? Hover over it with your mouse cursor to reveal the web address.
- Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information. Not sure about a request? Call the company to verify.
- Be skeptical of messages that have poor spelling or grammar, sloppy formatting or a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer” rather than your name.
- Beware of common intimidation tactics such as “Urgent action required!” or “Your account has been compromised! Call the company to verify if you’re concerned.”
If you receive a malicious or suspicious email or phone call to your MSU Denver email or phone number, please forward the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or support.msudenver.edu.
Want to learn more about phishing? Stop by the ITS booth at Spring Fling on April 18 and 19 for information and fun prizes. Also visit the Anti Phishing Working Group website and the Information Security @ MSU Denver webpage for additional information.