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Cybersecurity – SCAM of the Week – Part 2 – Gift Card Scams (Again)


This holiday season is seeing a rise of the Gift Card Scam. Our campus got hit hard last year with these phishing attempts, and we have worked hard to block them from getting to your inboxes. However, there scammers are getting more and more clever, and some do get through.

The premise is you get an email that looks like it comes from your Dean, department head, or someone else in authority asking you for a favor.

Since we have been able to weed out emails that specifically ask for the purchase of gift cards, these are now showing up with a subject line of “Are you Available”, or “I need a favor”.

If a person responds, the scammer states they have an urgent request for you to buy gift cards, either for a personal friend or for a department function. They ask for your cell number so they can continue the conversation.

Note that these emails are coming from an external source ([Ext] in the subject line), but the name of the Dean or department head is spoofed.

DO NOT ENGAGE these emails but report them to abuse@uthsc.edu. With specific information about the email, we can block it from being delivered to other people’s inboxes.

Stay safe and continue to #BeCyberSmart