Phishing Alert | "Mailbox Helpdesk"

Posted April 25, 2016 by Academic and Institutional Technology
Tags: Phishing Attempts

Phishing Alert | "Mailbox Helpdesk"

Employees recently received an email claiming to be from the Wheaton College IT Department. The email asks the recipient to follow a link and sign in to update their mailbox and prevent phishing, warning that their account may be deactivated if they do not update. The link in the email leads to a fraudulent webpage that asks for the recipient's email address and password.

This email is a phishing attempt. Do not click on any of the links in the email or provide your email address and password to the sender. Thank you to all who reported this scam.

If you responded to this scam and provided your email address and password, please contact us at 630.752.4357 (HELP).

Spotting Phishing Attempts

Phishing Example

The image above is a screenshot of this phishing attempt. Several things indicate that this email is not what it claims to be:

  1. The email claims to be from the IT Department, but was sent from a personal email account. This email address almost certainly belongs to someone who fell for this scam previously and lost control of their account.
  2. The subject line is very vague. While subject lines like this don't always indicate a phishing attempt, it's still a sign to be more cautious than usual.
  3. Check to see if the URL matches the supposed sender. You can often hover over links to see the URL. This email claimed to be from Wheaton College, but the link directed people to a non-Wheaton website. Any emails from Academic and Institutional Technology will direct you to a webpage. We will never provide a link in an email that sends you directly to a page where you are asked to input your password.
  4. Numerous grammatical mistakes indicate that this is not the official email it claims to be.
  5. A legitimate email from Academic and Institutional Technology will include contact information for our department. We always want you to be able to check in with us and ask questions if you're not sure about an email we sent. If there is no contact information, the sender is not affiliated with AIT.

Always exercise caution when responding to emails. If you're not sure whether an email is a phishing attempt or not, contact us or call 630.752.4357 (HELP).