Caution cone on keyboard
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 1:51pm

The Information Security and Policy Office would like to remind all UI employees and students to be vigilant of unexpected or suspicious emails, texts, or phone calls requesting personal or financial information. Please be especially careful this time of year, when cyber criminals develop income tax scams.

In a typical tax scam, you might receive a call or email from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The person contacting you may say you owe the IRS money and threaten to have you arrested if you don't pay, either with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Please remember: the IRS will NEVER initiate contact with you by phone or email; all of its correspondence is delivered by postal mail.

Another common scheme for cyber criminals is to send emails stating that your account is close to exceeding its quota or that you are the victim of a security compromise. The message may ask you to click on a link or log into a website to avoid being locked out of your account.

How to handle suspicious calls or emails:

  1. DO NOT provide your financial or other personal information.
  2. Write down details such as the caller's phone number and name if possible, and hang up.
  3. Before clicking a link, hover the mouse over it to see if the URL leads to a legitimate website.
  4. If you think an email is malicious, delete it or report it to your local IT support person or the Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk.                  
  5. If you can't tell whether an email message is legitimate, don't click on any links or respond without talking to a campus IT professional. You can also look up the contact information for the organization and contact it directly to ask whether the email is valid.

You can sharpen your scam-detecting skills with these UI resources. We encourage you to bookmark them for quick reference: