Phishing Alert: Mailbox Exceeded / IRS.gov email reprise

Fish on a plateSeveral reports on campus of the same phishing email last seen on the 19th, subject line: Your Mailbox has exceeded Its storage limit. See the July 19th post for details.  We’ve also seen the “IRS.gov” emails, a variation on Phishing Alert: Notice from IRS on June 5.

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Phishing Alert: Your Mailbox has exceeded Its storage limit

Fish on a plateThe Help Desk has received multiple reports of a phishing email that warns recipients that “Your Mailbox has exceeded Its storage limit as Set By Your Administrator, and you will not be able to receive new emails until you Re-Validate it.” It includes all the tell-tale signs of a phish: it attempts to create a false sense of urgency, requests you click on a suspicious link to address the problem, is from a non-Brown account and not sent directly to your email account, and contains grammar and formatting errors. DO NOT CLICK on the link.

Instead, before deleting it, open the original copy of the email you received and then click on the down arrow, to the right of the REPLY button, and select “Report phishing.” This will send that message immediately to the GMail Team for analysis and filtering. Read more about how to spot a phish.

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Phishing Alert: An Attempt has been made to Your Account

Fish on a plateAn email supposedly from the “Webmaster” of Brown University has been circulating the campus, warning recipients that “An Attempt has been made to Your Account from a new computer. For the security of your account, we are poised to open a query. Kindly Click <link> for good security practice and instant online account upgrade.”  This is a phishing attempt.  Do NOT click on the link. If you have not already deleted it, mark it as Phishing (from email, click on the down arrow, to the right of the REPLY button, and select “Report phishing”) to alert the GMail Team.

The email is a good example of phishing, with many of the tell-tale signs: attempting to create a false sense of urgency, requesting you to click on a suspicious link to address the problem, from a non-Brown account and not sent directly to your email account, and contains grammar and formatting errors.  Read more about how to spot a phish.

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Phishing Alert: BBB Customer Complaint Email

Fish on a plateSeveral members of the Brown community have reported suspicious emails supposedly from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), regarding a customer complaint. It requests that you open the attached file to be able to print it out and answer the complaint. Do NOT open the file. Instead, if you have not already deleted it, please report it as phishing (in the email click on the down arrow to the right of the REPLY button and select “Report phishing”) to send that message to the GMail Team for analysis and filtering. Read more about how to spot a phish.

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Phishing Alert: Notice from IRS

Fish on a plateISG and the Help Desk have received multiple reports of a phishing email supposedly from the IRS asking you to update your information due to an upgrade of its servers. While it is obviously a phishing attempt, the incident is a good reminder to stay vigilant as emails like these arrive from a variety of senders (some from compromised Brown addresses) with different messages, but generally all with the same purpose:  to convince you to give up personal information or direct you to a site where your account may be compromised.

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Phishing Alert: Urgent notice to register for SpamArrest

Fish on a plateThere have been multiple reports of a suspicious email from “Admin Brown University” with the subject line of “URGENT: IMPORTANT NOTICE.”  In this variation on a familiar phishing theme, the “management of Brown University” claims that is has “mandated that all staffs and students should register for SpamArrest to help control spam emails sent to our Mail Server.”  If you received a copy, report it as phishing then delete it.

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Phishing Alert: Data Outdated

Fish on a plateMultiple reports of a suspicious email from “Brown Announcement” with the subject line of “Data Outdated” are coming in to the Help Desk. Like many similar emails, this is phishing pure and simple.  If you received a copy, report it as phishing then delete it.

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Phishing Alert: Request for Username and Password

Fish on a plateThe Help Desk has received multiple reports of a phishing email asking for your username and password to keep your account active due to a supposed server upgrade.  BOGUS!!  This is phishing, pure and simple. This message is not from the Help Desk nor anyone else at Brown.  No legitimate email would ever include a request for such information.

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Beware of Tutoring Scam

Fish on a plateThe Help Desk has been alerted that students were being targeted with phony requests for a tutor (example follows).  Though the email may sound legitimate and asks only that you respond to it (no links or requests for personal information), it is only the first step in establishing a relationship that would eventually lead to the “advance payment scam”, in which the victim deposits a phony check into his or her bank account and becomes liable to the bank for the balance. Here’s one explanation of how the scam works.

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Phishing Alert: Request to re-activate closed account

Fish on a plateThe Help Desk has received multiple reports of a phishing email that warns recipients that “We have temporarily limited all access to sensitive account” and requests users to click on the provided link to reactivate their account.  It includes all the tell-tale signs of a phish: it attempts to create a false sense of urgency, requests you click on a suspicious link to address the problem, is from a non-Brown account and not sent directly to your email account, and contains grammar and formatting errors. DO NOT CLICK on the link.

Instead, before deleting it, open the original copy of the email you received and then click on the down arrow, to the right of the REPLY button, and select “Report phishing.” This will send that message immediately to the GMail Team for analysis and filtering.  Read more about how to spot a phish.

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