Protect yourself from scam emails
Criminals are sending scam emails that fraudulently claim to be from the University. Criminals also send scam emails that fraudulently claim to be from banks, credit card companies, on-line retailers, social media networks, and companies that provide video streaming and on-line gaming. Some of these scam emails will falsely claim to have detected unauthorised activity on your account. They may even offer you money, unclaimed inheritance, consumer goods, unclaimed prizes, and employment opportunities to lure you in. In other cases, those scam emails may refer to current news events that carry a significant fear factor.
The majority of scam emails are blocked by the University, however some emails will still get past our security systems as criminals adopt increasingly sophisticated methods of attack.
These scam emails attempt to trick you into providing important personal information such as your username, password, bank account logon details, credit card details, and other information that may be useful to a fraudster. Criminals will also attempt to trick you in to paying fraudulent invoices, often by impersonating other senior members of University staff.
Criminals want this information to:
- Access and steal money from your online bank account.
- Commit credit card fraud.
- Steal your identity.
- Send fraudulent emails from your computer account.
- Access your confidential work.
Criminals may try to trick you into opening an attachment contained in the scam email. This attachment may contain:
- Ransomware - which can cause significant damage to the files stored on your computer and network drives.
- Spyware - which can record your key presses, record your screen, and activate your camera and microphone.
The email may contain a web address that looks correct, but will take you to a fake web site. The fake web site may look identical or very similar to the web site of the organisation that the email fraudulently claims to be from.
Your personal information is valuable to criminals. The damage caused by criminals using your personal information can be very difficult to repair and may cause significant distress.
Protect yourself by remembering these simple rules:
- The University will never ask you for your password.
- If you receive an email that asks for your password, internet banking log-on details or credit card number, it will be a scam.
- If you receive an email that offers something that is too good to be true such as a free gift, money, or an unclaimed inheritance, then it will probably be a scam.
- Do not respond to the email, open any attachments, or click on any web addresses contained in the email.
- Delete the email.
- If you have accidentally provided any passwords, change them immediately.
- If you have accidentally provided your internet banking log-on details, change them immediately and notify your bank for further advice.
- If you have accidentally provided your credit card number, immediately notify your credit card company for further advice.
- Take precautions to stop malicious software infecting your computer, see Malicious Software.
Further guidance on how to protect yourself from online fraud is available from 'Take Five - To Stop Fraud'.