Beware of Tax-Season Scams
A reminder to all UI employees. Please be vigilant of unexpected or suspicious emails, text messages, or phone calls requesting personal or financial information. Please be especially careful this time of year, when cyber criminals develop income tax scams.
In a typical tax scam, you might receive a call, text, or email from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The person contacting you may say you owe the IRS money and threaten to have you arrested if you don't pay, either with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The IRS will NEVER initiate contact with you by phone or email; all of its correspondence is delivered by postal mail.
This year we have also received reports of fraudsters calling university employees pretending to be a representative of the University Benefits Office in an effort to collect personal information. Please remember that University Human Resources will never call you to ask for your personal information.
How to handle suspicious calls, texts, or emails:
- DO NOT provide your financial or other personal information.
- Write down details such as the caller's phone number and name if possible, and hang up.
- Do not open links in text messages from unknown contacts. Just delete the message.
- Before clicking a link in an email, hover the mouse over it to see if the URL leads to a legitimate website.
- If you think an email is malicious, delete it or report it to the UI phishing support team.
- If you can't tell whether an email message is legitimate, don't click on any links or respond without talking to a campus IT professional or the Information Technology Services Help Desk. You can visit the ITS phishing examples page to see some of the messages that have already been identified as scams. You can also look up the contact information for the organization and contact it directly to ask if the email is valid.
Please be cautious with your personal information when contacted through email, phone, or text by someone you do not know. Thank you for helping us protect your information.
More information and tips related to phishing scams are available on the ITS website.