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Cybersecurity – SCAM of the Week


This week’s reported SCAM is a SpaceX version of the “Nigerian price” scam, asking people for bitcoin. Scammers took over three popular YouTube channels, playing fake livestreams of Elon Musk promoting bogus cryptocurrency giveaways. The scams work by tricking people into making a small payment under the expectation that they’ll get double their investment back, like the classic “Nigerian prince”. When all was said and done, about $150,000 worth of bitcoin was harvested before YouTube shut them down. 

A little tidbit on “Nigerian prince” scams.  They are also known as 419 fraud, names after Section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code, where the scam is forbidden. 

What else have we seen reported to abuse@uthsc.edu this week? Here is a few examples.

  • UTHSC Outstanding invoice – wanting you to click a link looks like it comes from OneDrive
  • “Follow-up” and “Hello” – both scams wanting to start a conversation that would be taken to text messaging, probably asking to purchase gift cards.
  • New vMsg – wanting users to click a link to listen to a voicemail message, however it didn’t come from UTHSC’s messaging system.
  • STUDENT INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT PROGRAM (yes, all in caps) – wanting recipients to click on an attachment. (too good to be true)

Stay safe out there everyone.  Any suspicious email can be forwarded to abuse@uthsc.edu for examination.