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Penn State Webmail Community Receiving Phishing E-mails

A couple of new online scams involving phishing e-mails seem to be targeting the Penn State community, warn security authorities at the community.

One of phishing e-mails, according to the authorities, poses to arrive from EDU.WEBMAIL TEAM and asks the recipient to confirm his private information. It also gives a warning to Webmail users that if they fail to provide the information asked for, they would have their accounts deactivated. Security authorities at Penn State ITS (Internet Technology Services) Help Desk state that the e-mails are clearly fake.

Therefore, the ITS is asking students, teachers and other staff members to avoid revealing their passwords or personal information to anyone under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, one more phishing scam is targeting students who are searching for housing estates. This phishing e-mail is enlisting attractive housing properties and provides only a Gmail ID in contact details. When the e-mail's recipient inquires for the particulars of any of the properties, an automatic reply asks the user to fill out a credit check along with personal information that eventually helps the phishers to access the user's financial account.

Moreover, authorities at Penn State ITS state that some housing properties listings might include a fake website of a rental agency in response to the inquiries, suggesting that the e-mail should be ignored.

Security officials studying the scams said that phishing frauds normally take place with the distribution of unsolicited e-mails saying - it is necessary for the recipient to confirm his account by clicking on a given link within the message. But the link directs the user to a bogus Internet site where he is prompted to submit his private information like address, password, credit card number, social security number etc.

Subsequently, the phishers utilize the information to steal the victim's identity to open phony bank accounts, create fake credit cards, or use the person's name to draw loans.

Penn State is suggesting students, teachers and other staff to increase their knowledge of computer-related security risks and various phishing scams by visiting the Take Control website of Penn State at http://its.psu.edu/takecontrol/phishing.php.

Related article: PM’s Official Web Site Targeted By Hackers

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