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UW Students Need to be Aware of Phishing Scammers Targeting Personal Accounts

September 10, 2018

Even though no incidents have been reported, University of Wyoming students should be aware of a malicious phishing campaign that has hit some campuses throughout the country.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) has identified a malicious phishing campaign that may lead to potential fraud associated with student refunds and aid distributions.

“We have been made aware of the malicious phishing campaign targeting university students, but we have yet to see this type of incident at UW,” says Aaron Courtney, UW Financial Services assistant manager.

Multiple colleges and universities have reported phishing emails attempting to obtain access to student records and loans via student portals, according to FSA.

Because of the excellent job higher education institutions have done educating their employees, attackers are now targeting students. This is primarily due to many students’ lack of information security awareness, their track record for quickly responding and willingness to provide requested account or billing information, according to Campus Guard Alert, which issued a bulletin to financial services offices throughout the country.

The cyber criminals are doing their research first and identifying campuses’ use of particular student portals. They then use this information to target their phishing messages to students so that the request appears legitimate, according to Campus Guard Alert. Once a student responds and the attacker gains access, the attacker can change the student’s direct-deposit destination to another bank account and reroute federal student loan refunds to the attacker’s own accounts.

Courtney urges students to be aware of malicious emails and, if they have concerns or questions, they can call him at (307) 766-3205 or email courtne@uwyo.edu.

To view an example of a phishing email, click here and scroll down near the bottom of the alert. For more information, email FSASchoolCyberSafety@ed.gov.


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