Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Watch Out for Scam Emails

It's the time of year where online criminals seek to prey on new students and trick them into revealing their account login details. University email addresses and login details are very attactive to online criminals who at this time of year especially are keen to get access to the the money changing hands in the form of student loans.

Luckily, we at CiCS, intecept and destroy the vast majority of fraudulent emails and spam, around 95% of all email messages coming into the University are eliminated in this way. However, some fraudulent emails do get through and whilst we do have ways to limit the damage it's much easier if people know how to identify email scams.

Fradulent emails, also known as phishing emails, seek to trick you into revealing your University login details or your bank details. An email is sent which is formatted to look like it's from a well known bank, from the Student Loans Company or from your local IT Support desk. It alledges that there is some kind of problem with your bank or email account and either asks you to reply with your personal details including your email and password or it may provide a link for you to complete an online form - the form being formatted to look like it's part of the organisation's official website.

Once you supply your account details the criminals are one step closer to their bounty.

You should always be very suspicious of any unusual or unexpected email that refers to your account details or asks for personal information. If you have any doubts at all about whether an email is genuine call our helpdesk on 0114 2221111 and discuss your concerns with our staff, or alternatively ask staff in the Information Commons.

The following links have information about common scams aimed at students:

Student Loans Company
Bank Safe Online
CiCS Online Fraud web pages