Is it phishing ?
Scammers and spammers know that people are busy and, most likely, will read their mail quickly with out spending much time looking at the message itself. It is this characteristic that they are relying on when they send out these messages. Identifying a phishing attempt can be easy, as long as you know what to look for and take your time to look at the message for the clues indicating it may be a phishing message.
There is a difference between spam and phishing. Spam is unsolicited email, usually from someone trying to sell something and does not try to obtain personal or confidential information. Other than cluttering up one's inbox, spam usually does no harm. To control this type of mail simply flag the item as junk.
I replied to a phishing message - now what ?
It happens, you are busy, you just got back from a 2 week vacation and now have to catch up on all of that email in your Inbox. Then it occurs to you, but a little too late, that last email ... something about it did not look quite right! You may have just responded to a phishing attempt. All is not lost, but time can be important so take action quickly to lessen any possible harm.
Phishing on CSU cell phones and CSU office phones
For CSU cell phones: if you receive any messages or calls from 611 or 1-800-331-0500 and prompts you to provide personal information, do not respond. The phone is owned by the University and no personal information is tied to the phone service. No changes can be made by users; only Telecommunications Office is authorized to make any changes to the account.
For CSU office phones: if you receive calls from outside callers claiming that you have placed a call to them without your knowledge (i.e.. your direct number is appearing as caller ID instead of 216-687-2000), than your telephone number may have been “spoofed”. Please alert Telecommunications if this becomes a recurring issue. We will work with you on an individual basis on how to address the situation.
If you receive any of the messages similar to those described below, or any of those listed in the archives:
- Do not reply, select any link or open any attachments
- Mark the item as phishing (this will send the item to Microsoft for review and flag the item as "junk" in your mailbox) or delete the item.
If the email you received is not listed below, or in the archives, and it contains the hallmark of a phishing attempt, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can make others aware and take action to minimize any potential negative effects.
Listed below are the more recent phishing attempts detected on CSU accounts. They are listed by the wording listed within the subject line, followed by a brief description of the email. To view an example of the email, select the subject listed.
New this week
**** Special Notice ****
If you receive an email from what appears to be an individual you are associated with at CSU, and the email indicates they need to contact you but are unable to do so due they being in a meeting, on the road etc. and requests you email them back, check the email address that the mail was sent from, do not simply look at the name listed as it being sent from. By looking at the email address, you will note that the mail was not sent from the individual that it initially appears to have been sent from. These mails are being sent in an attempt to have people reply and then follow up emails will request confidential information, money in the form of cards, or other personal information. If you receive one of these, DO NOT REPLY, simply delete the item.
- Action Required - this is an email that appears to have been sent form Microsoft stating you must select the embedded link to avoid your account being deactivated. Microsoft does not send out messages such as these, nor does CSU. Neither organization will request you to sign in to avoid your account being deactivated. Also note that the email address list as it being sent from is not a Microsoft address, and if you were to hover over the link (do not select) you will note that the URL that is displayed is not that of Microsoft. (10/18)
- Emergency - email that indicates that your account is restricted due to it being signed into a new computer and you have 24 hours to re-validate your account. There is a link in the email that it requires you to select. Please note - if you hove over the link with your mouse, do not select, you will note the link is not that of CSU nor Microsoft. Also you are able to sign into your account using any device you wish, we never lock it out for reason such as that and lastly CSU nor Microsoft ever sends out emails requiring you to re-validate your account or provide your sign in credentials for any reason. (10/16)
- Attn RE: 2017 personal tax - email that implies that the information contained within is in reference to your personal taxes, and the the information in encrypted. Even though this email does not imply it is from the IRS, please remember that the IRS never sends out emails concerning any official business, all contact made by the IRS is through US mail. There is a link in this item, do not select it. (10/9)
To view a list of these and other Phishing notices that we have received in the past, based upon content type, visit the archives.