Phishing: Avoid Getting Caught In A Scammer's Net
Phony emails claiming to be from your school, job, bank, credit card company, or other places you conduct business with are beginning to look more and more authentic. Spotting possible scams is becoming more difficult as the scammers up their game, so remain vigilant.
You have seen the emails claiming that you have won some internet lottery, that some distant relative living in a foreign land bequeathed you massive amounts of money, or even the ones asking for your help in smuggling funds out of a warring nation. Usually the spelling is bad, the wording is broken and they tend to come from a suspicious email address. It is easy to spot them as scams.
However these are not the only scams out there looking to steal your identity. Phony emails claiming to be from your school, job, bank, credit card company, or other places you conduct business with are beginning to look more and more authentic. Spotting possible scams is becoming more difficult as the scammers up their game so it is very important to keep a vigilant eye out. Read more about How Emails can be Dangerous.
If you think an email is a phishing attack, click the More dropdown in the email and select Report Phishing, so someone can investigate.
Unfortunately, CSUMB is not exempt from these attempts to glean personal information. Remember that any official communications from the university will always come from a "@csumb.edu" email address. If you receive emails from the university that are NOT from a csumb.edu email address do not click on any links and do not respond to provide them with any personal information.
NOTE: On the rare occasion you do receive an email that looks like a phishing attack from a @csumb.edu email address, keep in mind Information Technology will never ask for your personal information via an email.
A good rule to follow if you get an unexpected email from your school, job, bank, eBay, PayPal, or other entity that you do online business with is this: Do not click on any links in that email but instead use your web browser and log into your account directly by typing in the URL or address of the web page. This extra step can save you from being sent to a page that looks authentic but is actually capturing your information for nefarious purposes.
Be sure to install antivirus software on your personal computers and laptops and keep the virus definitions up to date. Set your virus software to update the definitions automatically and scan your computer often. Keeping your computer virus-free not only enhances it's performance but it will add an extra layer of protection when it comes to identity theft since some viruses and trojan horses can steal personal information or log keystrokes to capture passwords.
Listen to your gut instinct and be a little suspicious- it may save you from having your identity stolen. Just follow this credo: If in doubt, check it out: taking the few extra seconds to manually log into your account rather than following links sent in email, or even calling the company in question could save you the hassle and expense of a stolen identity. If you have any questions about phishing scams please feel free to call the HelpDesk at 831-582-4357.