Written by Ivan Edwards |
The IT Service Desk at Penryn Campus has issued a warning to students to watch out for spam emails, after fake messages with phishing links were sent to Exeter students purporting to be from fellow students.
The warning comes after a recent email, sent from an exeter.ac.uk address, claimed to be from the IT Helpdesk itself, asking students to validate their accounts and “avoid termination” by clicking a link.
Josh Groom, at the FX Plus IT Service Desk, told the Falmouth Anchor: “We are aware of similar emails going around from people/disguised emails, and our team is counteracting it by blacklisting the domains from which they are being sent and ones which are related to these.”
“We never send emails which ask you to ‘verify your account’, ‘click this link to view unopened mail/attachment’, or anything similar”, he added.
Groom advised students to forward suspicious emails to the IT Service Desk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to help tackle them. “If you have clicked a link of which you regret or think to be a phishing/hack email, please change your password immediately to something completely different from the one you were using, this is a priority to stop anything from happening”, he said.
Previous spam emails have appeared to look genuine, relating to university business such as confirming module choices. The emails may be signed off with the name of a fellow student, or from official university services, to make them look authentic.
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IT Desk’s advice on spotting spam emails:
Look at the link
Groom says: “You can hover over the area/text which says “click here” or similar, and in the bottom left of your screen/near your cursor the link will popup allowing you to observe it. If the link looks to be from a suspect domain, or a non-official government/university email, feel free to message us to confirm”
Who sent it?
“You can also take a look at the sender’s address, and if that appears to be wrong or malicious please avoid it… however these can sometimes be masked and appear as official or trusted emails.”
Is it too good to be true?
“If it appears too good to be true, such as ‘You are entitled to a £644 tax return’ or anything of the sort, that is definitely not true. As much as I wish it was”, says Groom.
Blackmail and bad grammar
“An example would be, “I see you have visit SomeRandomExplicitSiteHere, and have installed RAT/Trojan on your pc, i have multiple image of you and will send to contact if you dont pay in deadline the amount of $SomeExtortionateAmount”… These types of emails are fake. Some contain ‘one of your passwords’, which are usually found from database leaks and are old. Ignore these as well.”