Be Alert for Cyber Scams

The new school year is an exciting time for students, faculty, and staff. It’s also an exciting time for hackers, identity thieves, and other unscrupulous types who take advantage of people with scams this busy time of year.

Watch Out For The Typical Beginning of the Year Scams

  • Emails supposedly containing “important information about your school account,” or a “problem with your registration”
  • Scams specifically designed to cheat students out of money, such as scholarship, fake “tuition payment processors”, textbook rental or book-buying, housing, tutoring scams, and work-from-home scams
  • “Tech support” scams where you get a call supposedly from “the Service Desk” or even “Microsoft” or “Apple” telling you there’s a problem with your computer
  • IRS impersonators demanding that students or their parents wire money immediately to pay a fake “federal student tax”
  • Messages asking for your login information, no matter how legitimate they may look. No one other than you need to know your passwords
  • Fake friend requests on social media, Fake Box or Google Doc notices

How to Stay Safe

The best way to avoid scams is to have a healthy skepticism.

  1. Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments, even if they look like they’re from someone you know. If you’re not sure, contact the sender by a method you know is legitimate to confirm they sent it.
  2. Verify requests for private information. Remember, con artists, know how to fake their identity.
  3. Protect your passwords. Make them long and strong, never reveal them to anyone, and use different passwords for different accounts.

Additional Resources

Learn more about cybersecurity here.

Read the whole fall 2020 newsletter here.

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