OIT Notification – Defending Against Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cyber Scams
In recent weeks Brookdale’s Office of Information Technology has seen an increase in phishing and social engineering scams due to the coronavirus situation. OIT is advising the College community to remain vigilant and aware regarding scams related to COVID-19. Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Please exercise caution in handling any email with a coronavirus or COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to coronavirus or COVID-19.
Congress has recently passed a large COVID-19 relief and stimulus package. As with other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters are exploiting the relief and stimulus to victimize the public. The U.S. Secret Service is observing a rise in stimulus relief fraud over the past several days and expect the fraud attempts to continue throughout the pandemic. A redacted example of an attack email.
OIT encourages the community to take the following precautions:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachmentsand Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scamsfor more information.
- Use trusted sources for information — such as legitimate and reputable Government, Health Organization, or Higher Educationwebsites — for up-to-date, fact-based information about coronavirus.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information by email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scamsfor more information.
Please note: All incoming emails to the Brookdale Community College email system from external parties will have a pre-fix in the subject of the message and a disclaimer in the body of the message. This text will only appear if the email is coming from an external email system.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you see this disclaimer text in the subject and body of an email you receive, please exercise caution when clicking on any links or opening attachments. You should never provide sensitive or confidential information such as usernames and password when responding to such emails.
If you have any questions, please contact the OIT Help Desk at 732-224-2829.