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Cybersecurity – SCAM of the Week – Termination Notice Phishing is Making Another Round


We reported a few months ago about phishing emails being delivered that appears to come from HR saying you are fired and to click on an attachment to see the details and payout. This scheme is making the rounds again, particularly effectively during this pandemic and near the end of the calendar year.

The scheme works like this: an email is sent to an employee from an authority in the Human Relations department (spoofed name and/or email address) stating that the individual has been terminated. An attachment to the email provides further information about the termination and the severance payout, which appears to be on Google Docs. When the victim clicks on the attachment, they are directed to a fake Google Docs page and told to click on another link. When they click on that link, they are directed to a URL to download a file.

HR representatives confirm that they do no terminate employees with an email. However, many employees might be tempted to find out more, even though it is unusual or suspicious.

If you receive some such email, here is what to do:

  • Forward the email to abuse@uthsc.edu for examination.
  • Continue to be vigilant about phishing schemes and spoofing campaigns using executives’ identities.
  • Think twice before you click or say ‘I agree.’
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links that you are not expecting.
  • Pick up the phone to confirm suspicious emails, links or attachments.

Stay safe everyone and have a great holiday season!