Phishing Watch

Posted: November 24, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The following message is provided as a service of Mason’s Information Technology Unit Security Office.

Safeguard yourself against identity theft and financial damage this holiday season. Avoid the deceptive e-mail traps and fake web site links of “phishers” by learning to recognize the signs of a phishing scam:

1. A request for and/or validation of personal or financial data (confidential information that the company should already know) by e-mail or over the Internet

2. A web link or sender’s e-mail address that does not match that of the organization

3. Poor sentence structure and/or misspellings of common words

4. A vague or nondescriptive identification of the account (e.g., “Dear PayPal User”)

No matter how compelling the request or how “valid” the sender, always play it safe and contact the company directly for verification. Legitimate businesses (Mason included) will never seek confidential information in this manner.

To protect yourself against phishing attacks – don’t click, don’t reply, do delete!

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