Oregon State University


What is phishing?

Phishing is an attempt by a person or organization to gain information such as usernames, passwords or credit card information. Once the unauthorized person gathers this information, they can use it to fraudulently purchase items on YOUR credit card, send real or spam e-mail from YOUR e-mail address, or sign up for services in YOUR name. Examples of phishing messages have been compiled to help you identify fake messages. The Phishing page on Wikipedia has more information if you are interested.

How is phishing dangerous?

Aside from financial loss, phishing can also cost you time, as well as your identity. As said above, once you send your information to a phishing email, someone can start making charges to your name. Not only will you now owe for someone's else's expenditures, you also get to spend hours trying to cancel cards, reverse orders, and try to get your financial life back. This can be very taxing financially, and take a lot of your time.

What can I do to protect my personal identity and information?

  • NEVER give your password to ANYONE, including technical support personnel.
  • NEVER respond to spam messages (this validates your address to the spammer and your e-mail address will be FLOODED with SPAM).
  • Never respond to an email requesting personal information.
  • Forward suspicious emails to your support group or call the agency requesting the information; E.g. Bank of America, OSU Federal Credit Union, Computer Helpdesk, etc.
  • Never click on links or images in suspicious emails.
  • Don't chat up scammers. Read a transcript from a real scam artist to gain further insight.
  • If you are still unsure what to do, contact your computer support group on campus.

What happens if I get phished?

If you are the victim of a phishing attempt, the first thing that will happen is your account will get disabled by the Service Desk. Once your account is disabled, you will get an email to your personal email telling you why your account was disabled; both you and the phisher will get an error message when you try to sign in telling you to contact the Oregon State Computer Helpdesk at 541-737-3474.

Once you call, the Service Desk will contact ONID support and get your account reactivated.

Need help?

Contact the Service Desk at 541-737-8787

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