Over the summer, several students have fallen victim to phishing scams. Collectively, they have lost thousands of dollars from some very sophisticated scams. You must remain vigilant when reading your email because the scammers have begun posing as UT faculty to get your information, bank account number, and electronic gift cards. This is REAL money! This cost comes from your and your family’s pockets, and YOU are the only solution!
Here is an example of a phishing email sent to several thousand users (in December of 2021) pretending to represent a department. OIT only became aware of it after victims came forward and reported the scam to email@example.com:
During this Holiday time that we are in, working from home would be great. Therefore, you have been offered a employment Job Opportunity at the convenience of your home or school, which serves as a gateway to pay all expenses incurred on campus. This opportunity should be done at leisure taking at most 1 hr. /day,2-3 times a week and earn $450 Weekly. It is a Flexible Opportunity where you will determine your working time. All the tasks are work from home/on campus job, you do not need to travel, you do not need to have a car to get started. You can be in any location and work from your home/school. .. Read here for Job Details
FLEXIBLE HOURS. Must be organized and attentive to details.
Notice: International student are also approved for this Job
Sounds great! I can sit at home, study, make hundreds of dollars, and do very little work. Not so fast!
Here’s a tip: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
Another tip: LOOK up the person in the UT Directory, directory.utk.edu, and call them to verify that they sent the email. It doesn’t matter if it appears to come from a UT address or not. You should check it out before engaging with the sender.
Accounts can get compromised; stuff happens. Regardless of WHO an email comes from, take the extra step and ask questions; not of the sender but call the referenced department and ask. As a reminder, you can always call OIT and provide the email you want to verify.