Phishing Alert: Your Paperless W2

A new phishing message was sent today, January 19, 2016, to the Auburn University community. To learn about about phishing, visit http://www.auburn.edu/phishing.

Email Message

Here's a screen shot of the latest email. Can you spot the signs of a phishing attempt?


Today's Phishing Email


  1. Generic Greeting: "Account Owner" is very generic and not how Auburn or any other reputable institution would address you concerning something as sensitive as a W2. And the To: field is blank because they probably sent it to lots of people.
  2. Suspicious Link: Whoa! If you hover over that link, it goes to kaizenkz.org, which is NOT an Auburn University website.
  3. Request for Personal Information: Although it's not apparent in this message, W2's are all about personal information.

Did You Fall for It?

  1. Immediately change your university password and any other accounts that use the same login information.
  2. Contact the OIT HelpDesk and let them know.
  3. Run a virus scan of your system using your anti-virus software.
  4. If you believe you may be the victim of identity theft, visit: Federal Commission for Identity Theft
  5. Forward the phishing email "as an attachment" to abuse@auburn.edu and then DELETE the message from your Inbox.
  6. Regularly check your banking and credit card accounts for any unauthorized transactions that may have been initiated by the phishers.

Remember

  • DO NOT reply to email with any personal information or passwords. If you have reason to believe that the request is real, call the institution or company directly.
  • DO NOT click a link in an unsolicited email message. If you have reason to believe the request is real, type the web address for the company or institution directly into your web browser.
  • DO NOT use the same password for your University account, bank, Facebook, etc. In the event you do fall victim to a phishing attempt the thieves will try the compromised password in as many places as they can.
  • DO change ALL of your passwords if you suspect any account you have access to may be compromised.
  • DO be equally cautious when reading email on your phone. It may be easier to miss telltale signs of phishing attempts when reading the email on a smaller screen.

Last Updated: August 23, 2016