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Scamspotting: choose online safety

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Would you know how to spot a fraudulent email if you received one? University students up and down the country are often targeted by fraudsters through phishing emails, commonly disguised as opportunities and offers which may seem too good to be true.

In response to recent attempts to target university students in this way, the University of Sheffield have produced this great video – Scamspotting – to help you spot when you may have received one of these emails:

Staff and students at QMUL were recently targeted by one such phishing campaign, offering a ‘salary raise’ or ‘job offer for students’. You can check out details of these scams and tips on how to avoid falling victim to them here.

Protection/prevention advice

• Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails.
• Do not reply to scam emails or contact the senders in any way.
• If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method (ie by phone or in person) to confirm that they sent you the email.
• If you receive an email which asks you to log in to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself.
• If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.

Remember, the university will never send you an email asking for your password or bank details. If in doubt, please call the IT Service Desk on 020 7882 8888 or email servicedesk@qmul.ac.uk. Free cyber security awareness training is also available for all students.

Take Five: to stop fraud 

Take Five is a new awareness campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) and its members with partners CIFAS (the UK's independent fraud prevention service) and City of London Police, which urges you to stop and consider whether the situation is genuine – to stop and think if what you’re being told really makes sense.

They’re asking you to take five, and remember these five tips:

1. Never share security details
2. Don’t assume everyone is genuine
3. Don’t feel pressured
4. Listen to your instincts
5. Stay in control

You can find a full breakdown of these five tips, as well as great advice on what to look out for in various situations (phone, text, email, online) by visiting the Take Five website.

You can also watch celebrities take part in the Take Five Scam Academy, and learn more about how you can identify scam attempts here.

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