Students experience phishing scam

By Brent Spivey

An email phishing scam targeted Cal Poly Pomona students during Fall 2017.

A warning was emailed to the campus community on Nov. 29 in response to the scam that involved Cal Poly Pomona, dozens of student-victims nationwide and the United States Golf Association (USGA).

“In particular, do not respond to an email with the subject title ‘Part Time Opportunity.’ Delete that email from your inbox” said the follow-up email.

The scammer’s email was quick to corral interest across the Bronco student body when it promised $250 weekly and gas in exchange for auto-wrapping the student’s personal vehicle in a full body “US Open” related advertisement.

The scam originated from an email spread by Dave Gomez, who pretended to be a part of the USGA.

One student went as far as to forfeit bank information.

According to USGA public relations representative, Janeen Driscoll, four students from Cal Poly Pomona were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Cal Poly IT Service Desk later issued two security advisory warnings during winter break.

According to Cal Poly IT Service Desk:

A new Spam/Phish email message titled, ‘Cal Poly Pomona Users Final Warning’ is currently being sent to CPP email addresses.

In some cases, the messages are coming from a legitimate CPP email address.

The email has been evaluated and identified as a phishing attempt.

If you have received this email, please delete it from your inbox.

Then on Dec. 21 The IT Service Desk issued a second warning: ‘Critical Advisory Alert’: The holiday season is used by cybercriminals as an opportunity to phish for your personal information.

During this time of year, there is an increase in online purchases, packages and fund transfers amd consequently, cybercriminals can easily sneak their tricky messages into your inbox.

Users are frequently falling for the holiday scams with an approximate rise of 40 percent in fraud during this time of year.

There are important steps to take in protecting personal information during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.

You should never respond to messages that don’t appear to be sent from a credible source.

The IT Service Desk urges students to delete these types of messages and avoid opening them to prevent any further issues.

These phishing scam messages are targeting CPP users with various subject lines, topics, malicious links, and web sites.

“Don’t let these spammers trick you!” said the IT Desk.

Here are a few helpful reminders if you feel like you’re being targeted by a phishing scam:

Cal Poly Pomona will never ask you via email for your Bronco password or passphrase.

You should not email your personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank information, date of birth, driver’s license number, home address or mother’s maiden name.

A general rule of thumb is to trust your gut when dealing with something that might be too good to be true.

Usually the subject line is the initial indicator that something may be overly persuasive.

If you think your account has been hacked or compromised, immediately contact the IT Service Desk at 909-869-6776.

You can also visit the Student Tech Desk in the University Library, second floor next to the Reference Desk, or the IT Service Desk in Building 1, suite 100.

If you are interested in internships, volunteer opportunities or career opportunities with the USGA or the U.S. Open, please go to usga.org and click on careers at the bottom of the page to review legitimate positions currently available.

Remember to log off of computers on campus to prevent others from using your accounts

Brent Spivey / The Poly Post

Remember to log off of computers on campus to prevent others from using your accounts

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