The Information Security and Policy Office is encouraging UI students and employees to be vigilant of two scams recently reported at other institutions. There is no indication of individuals here being targeted, but awareness is important.
One scam targets international students and has hit at least two other schools. Scammers offer a tuition discount and request the student’s school login credentials, then pay the tuition with a stolen credit card. The student is then asked to wire or check transfer the discounted tuition amount to the scammer.
Once the company of the stolen credit card realizes and reverses the fraudulent transaction, the student is left owing full tuition and has no way to recover the money transferred to the scammers.
Remember: NEVER provide your HawkID passphrase to another person. Always pay tuition directly through http://MyUI.uiowa.edu, never through a third party offering to save you money.
Professional Association Scam
The other scam attempted to target faculty members of a professional association that was about to have a national conference.
A scammer forged an email from the association president to the treasurer, requesting a wire transfer of $5,000 to an out-of-state bank account. Fortunately, the treasurer called to verify, IT staff confirmed that the message was forged, and the bank was alerted.
It’s easy for scammers to find information on academic conferences and officers’ names online, and then use that to forge emails and request fund transfers in preparation for a conference.
Remember: Always be watchful, ask questions, and verify any requests that involve sensitive information or financial transactions.