Online consumer fraud is now at record levels. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 351,936 complaints last year – an average of more than 900 each day. Read the FBI Internet Crime Center report.
Colleges and Universities are Frequent Targets
Colleges and universities are frequently the target of email phishing scams, which attempt to trick students, faculty and staff into giving away passwords or personal information that can be used to access email, bank or retirement savings accounts. These scams typically ask you to click a link to verify your email account or to change your password.
Learn How to Identify Suspicious Email Messages
Phishing messages often attempt to look legitimate by using the university name and logo, or the name and logo of a bank or health insurance company. The message may be from an individual who may claim to have a connection with you, your colleague or your employer. The message may try to coerce you into setting up a meeting or visiting a website to get you to reveal personal information. The University of Michigan Safe Computing website provides information on how to recognize suspicious email.
As a reminder, TIAA and Fidelity are the only companies approved by the university to provide information on the U-M retirement savings plans. Each company provides free one-on-one consultations with retirement specialists to U-M faculty and staff.
Phishing emails may include solicitations from firms other than TIAA and Fidelity. Representatives from these firms may offer to meet with you to provide advice about your U-M retirement accounts. If you don’t already have an established relationship with a company or a person who offers these services, it might be a phishing solicitation. Call the Shared Services Center at (734) 615-2000 to check whether an email is suspicious.
You can also view these tips from the TIAA and Fidelity security centers on how to recognize suspicious emails:
Safeguard Your Personal Information
Learn how to safeguard your identity and your accounts, identify legitimate email, and report suspicious email by visiting the University of Michigan Safe Computing website:
Additional consumer information is available from the Federal Trade Commission. Visit How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams.