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Phishing scams attempt to collect credit card numbers, passwords, etc.

There is a common type of internet scam called "Phishing". The scam begins with an e-mail message that looks to be from a legitimate serivce (your Bank, Ebay, Paypal, etc.).

The message usually states that you need to update your information with them or that, unless you verify your account, it will be shut down.

The message will contain a link that takes you to a web page that looks exactly like the web page of the service in question. However, the web site is a forgery and sends whatever information you enter back to those running the scam.

Phishing messages targeting OSU:

There are also Phishing messages targeted specifically towards OSU e-mail accounts. These will usually state that your OSU account is going be deactivated unless you reply with your user name and password (or that information is needed for some type of account upgrade). Any request for your password is a scam and should be ignored.

Those who reply to these messages should consider their account compromised. The account will most often be used by the Phisher to send large volumes of junk e-mail. When discovered, these compromised accounts will be disabled by the OIT Security Group, at which point the user will need to contact the help desk (688-4357) for a new password and to have the account enabled.

What to do if you receive a phishing message

If you receive a message similar to the description above, you should not follow the link in the e-mail message or provide them with any information. If you think the message may be legitimate, you should contact the service directly instead by an e-mail address or phone number you know to be valid.

There is more information about these scams at the FTC's web page and the OSU Safe Computing Web Page.

Information about Identity Theft in general can be found here and on OSU's Safe Computing site


  • Record Number: 1740
  • Create Date: 2004-05-10
  • Last Reviewed: 08-11-2009

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