IT Security | Spam, Scams and Phishing emails

Do you use the Internet regularly in the course of your studies or day-to-day College business as well as for personal transactions and leisure activities?  To stay safe you need to be alert to the possibility of scams and fraud online and in your inbox.

Take a look at the email below; have you ever received something similar?

This is an example of a common type of email scam which attempts to solicit your personal information on the basis that you have ‘won’ a competition.  There are many variations of these scams which may appear in your inbox.

These emails may attempt to induce you to:

  • participate in a contest or lottery;
  • purchase goods or services;
  • invest for financial profit;
  • Pay advance fees for services that are promised but generally not delivered

What is the purpose of these scams?

Most scams are designed to solicit payment from you or to obtain your personal details such passwords, bank account details, PIN numbers or internet banking login details.

How can I avoid them?

To avoid these types of scams you need to be vigilant and cautious, always take your time and consider the validity of what you are being offered.

ü  Make sure you can confirm the identity of the company or individual with whom you are engaged in a transaction

ü  Never agree to provide money up front for services

ü  Never provide sensitive personal information by email or on unfamiliar websites

ü  Be suspicious of unsolicited communications, if you did not enter the lottery it is unlikely that you have won!

As a general rule if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is.  The best course of action is to treat all these communications as spam and delete them!

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a form of online fraud which we experience regularly in College.  In a typical phishing attempt, you may receive an email or pop-up message that claims to be from IS Services or another business or organisation that you may have previously dealt with, for example eBay or Bank of Ireland.

How can I recognise a phishing email?

Always trust your instincts, and don’t be tempted to respond hastily to an email which threatens to disable your account. Check the IS Services website or give the helpdesk a call if you are unsure whether an email is genuine or not.

What should I do when I receive a phishing email to my College email account?

Staff members who suspect that they have received a phishing email, and have not clicked on any links in it or acted on it in any way should report it to our anti-spam service by forwarding it to abuse@frontbridge.com. Emails sent to this address will be considered for addition to the list of known sources of SPAM, and so will no longer arrive into College. When forwarding an email to this address please ensure to include the email headers.

What do I do if I think I have responded to a phishing email in College?

If you have replied to a phishing message or clicked on any links within the email body and entered your College username and password please immediately change your password and report this to the Helpdesk (+353 01 896 2000).

Finally remember..

IS Services will never ever ask for your username and password via email and you can confirm any communications from us with our website isservices.tcd.ie or the Helpdesk.

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