Hooked by a phishing scam?

On Monday, Feb. 19, Madison College Technology Services alerted students to an email phishing scam involving a fraudulent "secret shopper" job offer. Here is some additional information, developed in collaboration with UW Credit Union, that may be helpful: 

If the student has already responded, has been mailed a check and is now being contacted by the scammer: The student (or potential victim) is advised to stop all correspondence with the scammer and block the phone number. Often times people will “play along,” attempting to get more evidence or just trying to annoy the scammer. Although the credit union cannot stop people from doing this, it really serves no useful purpose.  

What to do with the fraudulent checks and letters, assuming they may be useful to someone for investigations: UW Credit Union prefers the check(s) to be destroyed and taken out of circulation. This prevents an accidental deposit at another financial institution, for example. There are just too many scams like this out there for police to devote the time or the resources to work these cases. Most suspects live out of state and sometimes out of the country. UW Credit Union will take all the documentation, checks, etc. from the student or member, but after that point, it’s really just documentation for proof the student or member was indeed a victim.

Technology Services adds: If individuals are receiving email communications from scammers, whether suspected or confirmed, they should report this to the Help Desk so that the Identity and Access Management team can help to block these types of communications in the future. At the very least, deleting and not responding to those communications is a good idea. The link below provides some valuable information and guidance on being alert for and handling phishing emails.

Published February 20, 2019.