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Phishing Attempts Continue To Plague Universities

Phishing Attempts Continue To Plague Universities

Ignore and Delete Suspicious Email

McNeese State University is often the subject of phishing attempts in which an email claims to be from a group or person at MSU or claims to be specifically related to University business. Some of the recent attempts claim that your email has exceeded its quota or that you need to verify your account due to a service upgrade. Various other models are seen from time to time, as well. These are fraudulent and should be deleted.

If you received the below email or similar, please ignore and delete it. This is a phishing attempt.

From: "Technical Support"
Reply To:

You are required to click on the link to verify your email account because we are upgrading our webmail.

Webmail Technical Support Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: This email and its attachments may be confidential and are intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be timely, secure, error or virus-free, and the sender will not accept liability for any errors or omissions.

How can you quickly identify messages as a phishing attempts?
  • "Verify your account"
    The message asks you to reply and provide sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. The University would never ask you for this kind of information via email, and you should never send it via email for any reason.
  • "If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."
    Phishing messages try to convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond without thinking. It's always safer to check with the supposed sender of such a message via phone or in person before doing anything.
  • "Click the link below..."
    Phishing messages commonly include a link that appears to go to one place (eg. the University), but actually goes somewhere else (eg. the attacker's site, which is setup to look like the University site). If you hover your mouse over a link, the real destination generally appears in the status bar at the bottom, or in a small pop-up beside the link. If it doesn't match the link text or goes somewhere other than a site, there's a good chance you've caught a phish.
  • The message does not pertain to you.
    Some recent phishing messages appear to come from the US Internal Revenue Service advising you of a tax refund. If you don't file taxes in the US, you can safely assume that such a message is a phish.
  • Spelling and grammar errors.
    It is common for phishing messages to include many spelling and grammar errors. Some of these errors, especially in the subject line, may be placed intentionally to try to confuse automated phishing filters. However, the absence of spelling/grammar errors doesn't necessarily mean the message is legit.

If you responded to a phishing email and entered any personal information, immediately change your password. If you clicked on a link or opened an attachment, you may have inadvertently installed malware on your system. Contact the Helpdesk at 337-475-5995 or

Play the Phishing Scam Game.