SECURITY ALERT: Email financial scam circulating, impersonating department chairs.
CSIT has received several alerts regarding a wave of scam email messages which are reaching NWU mailboxes. While there are some differences between the various messages reported, the basic pattern is similar and the scam is familiar.
Targets for this scam will receive a brief email message which attempts to impersonating their department chair or supervisor. The message will use their name, but the actual email address of the sender is departmentalhead [at] icloud.com (departmentalhead[at]icloud[dot]com) . (Particularly on mobile device email clients, it is often difficult to see the real email address of the sender; only the name is displayed, making the legitimacy of the message more difficult to assess.) The body of the messages is brief:
“Available, cell number?”
The signature will be the name of the department chair with a reference to the department.
These messages are faked and are sent in furtherance of a financial scam. The sender quickly shifts the conversation to text messaging and attempts to engage the target in some task (e.g., the purchase of gift cards) which they will then ask the target to send them.
Please do not engage with such email messages. If you have any serious questions about whether a message originates from your chair or supervisor, contact them independently of any information in the email message and ask them.