Don’t be fooled by phishing scams

Author: Lenette Votava, OIT

Phishing scams continue to show up in the email inboxes of Notre Dame faculty, staff and students. The email may look like it came from a familiar business or organization. They are designed in a way to make you think the email is legitimate, but don’t be fooled!

Phishing is one of the most common forms of attempted identity theft. A message is sent as spam or a pop-up from someone pretending to be a financial institution or organization, and requests personal information or asks you to click on a link in the message. Be aware that this is an attempt to steal your personal information (account, password, etc.).

Email providers often block email from organizations that send spam. This means that if you provide access to your account to a scammer, and they use it to send large quantities of spam, your compromised account could stop all Notre Dame users from sending email to sites such as AOL and Yahoo.

Remember Notre Dame, or any other legitimate organization, will never request personal or account information by email. Legitimate organizations should already have this information on file.

If you think a request for your personal information is legitimate, contact the organization that sent the email before you reply. Find their phone number in the phone book or from their corporate website. Be sure to verify the email came from that organization. Do not use any contact information contained in the suspect email.

Don’t let phishing scams compromise your personal information or accounts. Never click on links sent in unsolicited emails and instant messages. Use firewalls, antispyware and antivirus software to protect your computer and keep them current. For further information, visit OIT’s phishing scams FAQ.