by SMCC Security and IT
Recently a student reported receiving an email threatening physical violence un- less money is paid to the sender of the email. Fortunately, that email was quickly recognized to be recycled from an old scam and is a hoax. Nevertheless, it was very upsetting for the student, so I want everyone to be aware that fraudulent emails are being sent to students via their student email accounts.
With SMCC’s encouragement, the student has reported this incident to the police, and SMCC has reported the incident to Google in the event that Google can identify the sender and provide the in- formation to police. If you should receive any threatening emails, please contact your local police department, SMCC Security (741-5553) and the IT Help- Desk (741-5696) so that we may help.
In addition to emails attempting to extort money from you, please be wary of emails requesting personal information. We are seeing increased phishing attacks.
In a phishing email, a criminal poses as a college employee – or someone else with whom you do business – and attempts to persuade you to disclose private information, often banking details or your social security number, in an attempt to access funds in your bank account or steal your identity. A message like this will look like it was sent only to you and like it comes from a real person that you are likely to trust.
So what can you do?
Never open and or respond to an email that gets filtered into you SPAM folder. And never forward it to friends, asking for advice.
Noone at this college or any other reputable business will require you to send otherwise confidential information via email, a link to form, etc. Do not send person information: social security number, date of birth, bank account details, etc. via email or any other insecure means. Be aware that these scams exist because they can occasionally trick people into doing something they wouldn’t normally do.
If the email looks suspicious, contact the individual by another means to
ask if they actually sent you the request. Check to see if the sender’s email is genuine. For example, if the email is from an SMCC employee, the address should be “@smccme.edu”. If it isn’t, question it. Try Googling the subject line or the first line of the email. Often, it will show up in the search results as a known hoax.
If you are threatened in any way, report the threat to your local police department, to SMCC Security (741-5553) and to the IT HelpDesk (741-5696). If you determine that an email is a scam or phishing attempt, or even if an email is just suspicious, report it to the IT Help- Desk (741-5696) so that we can help.
Categories: Campus News
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