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Published February 08, 2016
As tax season draws near, University of Wyoming Information Technology offers some guidelines to protect your personal information and identity.
“Remember the IRS never asks you for your information via email,” IT announced in a campus advisory. “While UW Information Technology blocks more than 2 million network attacks and phishing emails per week, there is always the potential for one or two to get through.”
Some of the phishing attempts can be sophisticated. A recent phishing email went to 500 Wisconsin state employees and directed them to a State of Wisconsin HR site to get their W-2 information. The website seemed real, but it was a fake. Employees who entered information into the website gave away their name, address, Social Security number and bank account information to the scammers. The employees’ identities were stolen.
“Watch out for attempts such as these to collect your personal information,” IT advises. “Emails from UW about HR-related materials will direct you on how to access the information within HRMS Self Service.”
Here are some general guidelines on how to spot a phishing attempt:
-- Check the email address that the email came from. While phishing attempts can be triggered from malware attached to a UW user’s email account, most of them will have email addresses that do not end in @uwyo.edu.
-- Be careful about links in the email. Look at the address for the link (put your mouse on the link, but don’t click on the link). If it’s a phish, the link is normally clearly not UW or other legitimate site.
-- Watch out for urgent language in the email. While not all phishing emails appear to be urgent, many will use words like immediately, now or alert, to make recipients think they must act without taking time for additional investigation.