MavWire Extra

For the Faculty and Staff of The University of Texas at Arlington

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beware of email phishing attacks

Reports of phishing attacks have increased dramatically across the U.S. in the past few months, with some resulting in criminal access to personal payroll and tax information.

Phishing is when criminals send specially crafted emails that appear legitimate to get users to give up their usernames, passwords, or other personal information. Their goal is to gain access to your accounts, often to send spam from compromised email accounts, and to acquire access to bank accounts or information useful for identity theft.

Recently reported phishing attacks have used fraudulently acquired credentials to log in to employees' payroll profiles to change their bank routing information for direct deposits. The scammers also have accessed W-2 forms to make fraudulent income tax return claims or to commit other forms of identity theft.

While UT Arlington and the UT System administration continue to make every effort to ensure their applications and employee data are as secure as possible, employees who reveal their private information are still at risk of falling victim to paycheck and identity theft. If you provide your password to scammers and your next paycheck is then re-routed, there is no guarantee that your money will be returned.

UT Arlington and the UT System administration will never ask you to send your password in an email.

Visit UT Arlington’s anti-phishing website for guidance on how to recognize a phishing message and what to do if you’ve received a suspicious message or fallen victim to one.

Follow these tips for online safety:

  • Don’t click on links sent to you by individuals you’re not familiar with.
  • Never divulge your password to anyone, and pay close attention to the web address of any website requesting you to log in.
  • Don’t use the same password for all of your online accounts (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple, Amazon, bank, UT Direct, etc.) in particular those providing access to funds or confidential information.
  • Contact the OIT Helpdesk at 2-2208 if you are unsure about an email asking for personal information.
  • Send a copy of the message to the Information Security Office at


Editor: Teresa Newton

Executive Director for University Publications: Mark Permenter

Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing: David Johnson

Vice President for Communications: Jerry Lewis

Published by University Communications. Photography, video, design, and online services provided by the Department of Communications and Marketing.

© 2014 The University of Texas at Arlington


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