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We are all sent emails to our Canisius email inboxes that appear to have been sent by other employees insisting that we click links or reply promptly. Lately, many of us have received vague emails allegedly sent by colleagues and supervisors that need our help and might ask for our mobile phone number or money.

These are phishing scams designed to get you to reply or click a link and at some point, supply them with money or sensitive information that allows them to access our accounts or data. Many times, these come from email addresses other than Canisius accounts, which are easy for anyone to create. (Free email services, such as gmail or take just minutes to set up). If you receive emails that claim to come from colleagues at non-Canisius email addresses, do not click links or reply to that email. If you suspect that the message or request might be genuine, contact that individual through their Canisius address or office telephone number to verify.
More sophisticated or skilled phishing scams can even send emails that claim to come from an employee’s (past or present) Canisius address. If you are at all suspicious, call that person’s telephone or forward the email to the Canisius College Help Desk for verification. The extra time and effort is well spent to avoid a more costly and time-consuming recovery.
Faculty and staff should use Canisius email addresses for official college business. With phishing and other scams common these days, if you use a private email account not supplied by the college, you may find recipients at the college do not reply to you. So for any college business, work in your Canisius email account.
Email phishing and scam efforts are a common challenge across business, healthcare, education and government, and are difficult to block without causing additional problems. We all need to exercise prudence when replying to emails or clicking links in emails or on websites. Again, if you ever have any questions concerning an email from a fellow employee of the college, please verify the authenticity of the message through other means, such as the telephone.

Here’s a quick video with tips on avoiding email scams:

Submitted by: Mark Gallimore, Center for Online Learning & Innovation