New Scam Targets Students at Idaho State University
0 Updated at 4:34 pm, April 3rd, 2012 By: Managing Editor
(POCATELLO, ID) — A new scam is targeting students at Idaho State University. President and CEO of the Idaho Better Business Bureau, Dale Dixon joined IMN with Tim Lewis to talk about this and more.
Hear the interview, HERE: [audio:http://www.eastidahonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Dale-Dixon-Mar-30.mp3|titles=Dale Dixon Mar 30]
More info. on this week’s scams…
Idaho State University students appear to be the target of a “spoofing” scam, as possibly thousands of current and former students received emails today.
The e-mails told students that the university-based webmail server was going to deactivate email accounts. The students are directed to take immediate action in order to avoid the deactivation by following a link.
Emily Frandsen, spokeswoman at ISU Marketing and Communications, says, “This is definitely a scam.”
BBB started receiving calls about the email around lunchtime on Thursday afternoon.
E-mail spoofing occurs when hackers configure their e-mail client to make messages appear as if they are coming from someone or somewhere they are not, said Robb Hicken, chief storyteller at the BBB serving the Snake River Region.
“This hides the identity of the original sender and can make it hard to track him or her down,” Hicken says. “The e-mail message usually contains some sort of virus, but in this case, they are phishing for student personal information.”
“If you look at the email itself, you can see that the address has been spoofed,” said David Wright, at the ISU IT Service Desk.
Wright said the email was not sent to every campus address, which means the ISU domain was secure and hadn’t been hacked.
“The ISU domain has in the thousands of names,” he says. It appears that they probably harvested it off an online directory somewhere, and sent it out.”
IT Help Desk sent out an immediate response to all addresses warning individuals about the fraudulent e-mail. Wright said students who opened the e-mail can call the help desk number at (208) 282-4357.
• Do not click on any links or reply to the message,
• Completely delete the message from your inbox, and
• Run a full virus scan on your computer if you did click on any links.
Fake faxes fixate on farmers
An Idaho USDA officer is reporting a scam targeting ag businesses and individuals.
Dick Rush, state Executive Director of the Idaho Farm Service Agency, says fraudulent letters were being faxed to ag producers in Idaho and phone calls have been received in surround states asking for personal and financial information.
The spoof faxes have the USDA logo and a signature of “Frank Rutenberg” an alleged senior procurement officer. USDA says it has no record of an employee by that name and the position of Senior Procurement Officer does not exist. Rush says the documents ask the recipient for their bank information, phone numbers, tax information and a signature giving approval to perform a background check. This is a phishing scam. Do not respond to this fax or phone calls.
Rush says USDA is investigating this matter through the Office of the Inspector General. USDA first learned that the letters were being circulated on March 16.
USDA officials have been notified that additional fraudulent letters and at least one fraudulent phone call have been received by individuals in a number of states. These letters are false and in no case should a recipient respond with personal and financial information. Recipients should contact USDA at:firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-720-9448.