Auburn University Sends Out Phishing Alert

Auburn University has been hit with a phishing e-mail scam. Its IT Department says that an e-mail purportedly from the school's federal credit union is circulating and so users of the university's e-mail need to be wary of the scam entering their mailboxes.

The fraudulent e-mail identified as part of a phishing scam contains an official letterhead of Auburn University. It also has an official logo resembling that of the university.

The e-mail urgently asks for recipients' personal information so that their Federal Credit Union accounts are not terminated. This is where someone poses to represent a financial organization in attempts to collect people's account numbers as well as other details. Any recipient who replies to such a message could find his money gone or worse lose his identity.

Seth Humphrey, Information Technology Specialist at Auburn said that these types of e-mails seek personal information be it the recipient's account number, password or anything that relates to his identity. That's how identity theft occurs, as reported by WTVM on March 21, 2008.

Humphrey further warned that the fraudsters could use the stolen information to create credit in the victim's account, in his name. They could also use it to access the victim's bank account and withdraw money because victim had provided his confidential information.

Humphrey said that whenever such e-mail arrives, it is best to contact someone at the institution either in person or over phone. According to Humphrey, most institutions, for instance banks, in this case would not send such e-mails. They would speak to the person over phone or discuss when the person visits the bank.

Auburn University's IT Department is suggesting users that they should not release any private information. It also advises them to be extremely careful when disclosing any such detail over the Net.

However, phishing attacks of these types have been increasing heavily in recent months as is evident from the attack at San Francisco State University. Over 50,000 faculty members and students there had received phishing e-mails purportedly from the university's administrators asking for personal information in the second week of March 2008.

Related article: Auburn University Students Worried on Twitter Phishing Scams

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