The University of Texas at Tyler
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Spam and Phishing Information

Information Technology

  IT Support
Faculty / Staff
itsupport@uttyler.edu

Students
 itsupport@patriots.uttyler.edu

On Campus: Ext. 5555
903.565.5555

Often, emails appearing to be from Chase, PayPal, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, MSN, EarthLink, Amazon and other large corporations are received by email recipients of UT Tyler. While our email filter appliance quarantines a great number of these messages, some may slip through the various rules of the appliance and often others are released from quarantine by the recipient, thinking that they might be genuine. It is our recommendation that you totally disregard and/or DELETE such emails if there is ANY doubt as to their legitimacy.

These emails generally always contain a link to a website wanting you to verify information such as passwords, social security numbers, account numbers, etc. I am not aware of any unsolicited legitimate emails that would request such information from a customer. The websites that are contained in the messages will often even appear to be valid, and will have logos, graphics and other information of the sender of the email. Yet, the website is normally bogus and/or may be a web server that has been hacked.

If you receive such emails, you should also consider how your UT Tyler email address was obtained from the sender. (Does your bank or financial institution use your UT Tyler email address to contact you? Do you even have an account with the "sender" of the email? ) Our "business" email addresses are obtainable, with little difficulty, from the UT Tyler website, business cards, and from correspondence we send to students and colleagues. Such easily accessible email addresses are often the target of "phishing" (see definition from webopedia.com below) attempts.

The sender of such emails will often constantly change servers, subjects of mass emails and the body of the email. Thus, the detection of the bogus emails from those which may be authentic is extremely difficult. Further, since some employees do use their UT Tyler email addresses to place orders with Amazon and transact business with PayPal or their financial institution, blocking all email from such is not a viable alternative.

Again, it is our advice to be always very cautious with any such email you receive, whether it is at UT Tyler or on a personal email account. Requesting such information through an unsolicited email is no different than receiving a phone call from an individual claiming to represent a business and asking you for the same information. Just as you should be very hesitant to reveal such information over the phone, you should also be just as guarded, or even more so, to enter personal data at a website.

Phishing defined: The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. Phishing, also referred to as brand spoofing or carding, is a variation on "fishing," the idea being that bait is thrown out with the hopes that while most will ignore the bait, some will be tempted into biting.

More information regarding Phishing

Information regarding Spamming

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