Identify Email Scams
Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to acquire personal information such as usernames, passwords, account numbers, etc. Phishing emails often "appear" to come from well-known organizations who ask you to click a link in the email that takes you to a site requesting personal information. Phishing is often carried out by email spoofing (see Spoofed Emails below).
Email spoofing is used to make you believe the emails you receive are from a reliable source when in fact they are not. Once you click on a link in the email or respond to the email, viruses and spyware may attempt to steal your private information.
What you should do if you receive a questionable email:
- Do not click on the link(s) in the email.
- Do not respond to the email.
- Do not open any attachments.
- Contact the TAC if you suspect you received a fraudulent email.
- Delete the email.
What you should do if you accidentally click on links in a fraudulent email:
- Change your password.
- Run a scan with your antivirus / anti-malware software.
Signs of a fraudulent email:
- Misspelled words (i.e., Wellcome has two "L's" in it)
- A generic greeting instead of the email being addressed specifically to you
- Unknown or unfamiliar email addresses
- Requests for confidential information
- Receiving “system undeliverable” messages from an unknown e-mail address
Example 1 - Actual fraudulent email that was received at UNCW:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Dear E-mail Users,
To prevent your email from closing you will have to update it below so that we will know that it's a present used email.
Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within Seven days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.Thank you for using Uncw Webmail! Access Number: 859480KBM
Example 2 - From phishtank.com website: