Imposter Phishing Scams

You get an email from your “boss” (or someone else you know) with the subject “Got a moment” asking “Are you available?” You want to help, and reply asking what you can do. They are in a meeting or can’t access the internet right now, but they need your help urgently.

They ask you to call a 1-900 number or to buy some Amazon gift cards and email them the serial numbers. By then you guess that something is fishy, and take a closer look at the email address. It’s not from an @msvu.ca address, but from firstname.lastname.msvu.ca@gmail.com. MSVU staff have been receiving these types if imposter phishing emails since August 2019.

If you called that number, you would end up with an expensive charge on your phone bill from a company in a faraway land. That is known as “toll fraud” or “International Revenue Share Fraud”.

If you sent them the serial numbers, well you just sent them cash.

In more serious email scams, organizations have been defrauded millions of dollars using fake, imposter email accounts.

MSVU email servers label suspected imposter phishing emails for you, so carefully examine any emails with the warnings like:

“This message was marked as spam using a junk filter other than the Outlook Junk E-Mail filter.”

[FIRST.LAST@RANDOMSITE.CH appears similar to someone who previously sent you email, but may not be that person. Learn why this could be a risk at http://aka.ms/LearnAboutSenderIdentification.]

These warnings may mean that the sender is pretending to be someone you know for fraudulent reasons. Maybe it is your boss emailing you from their real Gmail account, but always check the email address of messages that contain these warnings to make sure it’s legit.

Please forward suspicious emails to the IT&S Help Desk at helpdesk@msvu.ca.