College of Charleston students, faculty, and staff are frequently the target of phishing attacks which attempt to trick users into providing their login, password, id number, pin number, or other personal information. A phisher sends you an email that claims to be from a business or organization that you may deal with — for example, an Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, college or university, or even a government agency. The message may ask you to “update,” “validate,” or “confirm” your account information. Some phishing emails threaten a dire consequence if you don’t respond. The messages may request you to respond by email or direct you to a website that looks just like a legitimate organization’s site. But it isn’t. It’s a bogus site whose sole purpose is to trick you into divulging your personal information so the phishers can steal your identity, run up bills, send spam, or commit crimes in your name.
Responding to a phishing scam not only puts you and protected information at risk, but also impacts the entire campus. Phishers will log into your account using the credentials you provided to send more spam and phishing attempts. These messages trigger email and internet providers (Comcast, Yahoo, Knology, etc.) to block email from the College. It can take days before these service providers will allow email from the College again.
If you receive a phishing message, treat it like spam and delete it.
Learn more about identifying phishing and protecting yourself at http://it.cofc.edu/security/phishing