Phishing Scams

You may have received an email recently that inferred it was legitimate when in fact nothing about it seemed right. This is referred to as a “phishing” scheme, a form of identity theft. Phishing relies on social engineering, making you believe the perpetrator should be trusted. Approximately 7 percent of recipients respond to them because they successfully present themselves or their message in this manner.

This is not an unknown or isolated occurrence; reports of these messages have surfaced at universities across the country.

Phishing schemes ask people to provide their addresses, passwords, and account numbers by identifying some problem that requires an immediate response by you. The people asking for this information count on you to not examine the message or consider your response thoroughly. It is wise to be suspicious.

Recommended response:

Remember that phishing schemes seek your personal information; don’t share this information with anyone. Be aware that banks and financial institutions will not ask for confidential information from you online or via the phone, they already have it. Anyone asking for your password should arouse suspicion.

Want to test your knowledge of phishing? Play the Anti-Phishing Phil game developed by Carnegie Melon University, in conjunction with the U.S. National Science Foundation and ARO/CyLab.

Have a question? Call the CCC Helpdesk, ext. 5888

For more information regarding ID Theft or phishing, consider enrolling in the one-hour course “ID Theft, Don’t Be a Victim,” offered annually at WPI by Information Security.

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Last modified: Feb 18, 2013, 09:28 EST
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