SECURITY ALERT: New rounds of an old email scam


CSIT has received multiple reports this morning regarding a new wave of an email scam.  This particular scam is one which we have seen before, but has been distributed widely enough to warrant a reminder.

The scam email message arrives with the simple subject line "Request".  The body of the message is equally simple including just the single line "Are you available at the moment?"  In the most recent instances of this scam reported this morning, the apparent sender of the message has been either Dr. Ohles or Dr. Darren Good.  In previous instances, we have seen other NWU administrative staff used as the purported message sender.  Of course, the real message sender no one at NWU and any email client software which reveals the full email address of the sender will show that the message does not come from an NWU account.

The aim of this scam is the engage the recipient in an exchange of messages asking them to purchase something of value (typically gift cards) and to transfer that value to the scammer's email or text address.  The scammer is usually ready with some story to explain why this is a special request for which they cannot use their NWU account.  Unlike phishing scams which attempt to entice the message recipient to imediately compromise confidential information, this scam requires a longer engagement and targets direct financial gain.

CSIT is in the process of removing these messages from NWU mailboxes, but we cannot assure that all such instances will be caught by our removal processes.  Should you find a message like the one described above, please delete it from your mailbox.  As with other suspicious messages, if you have any doubts about the authenticity of an email message in your NWU mailbox, please contact CSIT for assistance.