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Tech Bits: Email Seem Suspicious? Trust Your Instincts

Date

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

During the past couple of weeks, email has been making the rounds at Temple under the guise of bogus job vacancies and false tampering of Microsoft Outlook recovery settings. These emails were sent by hackers who use all kinds of tricks to try and get access to your personal information. So what should you do?

Remember these five tips to recognize phishing scams so you don't get caught:

  1. The message was sent by an unfamiliar or unexpected sender. Phishing emails are often in disguise and can claim to be from Temple HR, the Help Desk, Microsoft, well-known banks and credit card companies. Be sure to review the sender information closely. The sender address on these scams can be unfamiliar, not quite right or unexpected.
     
  2. The message was sent from a seemingly legitimate person but with an eye-catching subject line. Phishing emails can also appear to come from people you may know (such as friends, family or other Temple students and colleagues), but have subject lines that are impersonal and designed to entice you to open the message. Always be suspicious for attractive offers, especially ones that are too good to be true.
     
  3. The message contains a tone of urgency or extreme excitement. Phishing scams will often use phrases such as Please log-in to avoid your email account being closed, to try to invoke fear or excitement and get you to respond. It is important to stop and think about the message before clicking on any links or responding to the message.
     
  4. The message is asking you for your password and personal information. Temple will never ask you for your password or any personal information via email.
     
  5. The message contains unexpected links and attachments. Never click on an unexpected link or attachment in a suspicious message. If you want to see where the link redirects to, hover over the link to see where the URL is going. Be extra cautious if a link takes you to a login page. These fake pages are set up to capture your username and password.

Most importantly, slow down and trust your instincts. If you spot any of these signs in a message, or are unsure of whether or not a message is legitimate, do not click on any links or respond to the message. Instead, forward it to abuse@temple.edu and a consultant will review the message.

For additional information, check out our How to Spot a Phishing Scam video or visit our Phishing webpage.