Dear Campus Community,
We have been experiencing an increasing number of spoofed emails–emails that appear to come from someone you know, or from a familiar account, but in fact are faked. There has been a rash of this activity hitting higher education institutions across the country and there are no technological solutions to prevent it or track down the perpetrators.

Please just be aware that emails you receive are not necessarily from the senders as they appear. If anything about an email is surprising or odd, do not reply or take action–check it out independently first. If you reply to the email, you might be replying to the impostor and falling further into the trap. It’s hard to be specific about what to look for as the clues are never the same, but things like grammar, punctuation, odd phrasing, just doesn’t sound like that person, unusual request or cryptic subject line have all shown up as clues in various ways.

Even if the email appears routine, but the request or direction could have serious consequences, e.g. involving accounts, money, or sensitive data, it’s worth checking out by phone. Just like anywhere else on the internet, you can’t be sure that the person communicating online is really who they say they are. Be aware, and surf safely!

Anne Milkovich
Chief Information Officer