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SPAR – Cybersecurity Scam of the Week – Omicron-Themed Phishing Scams


As with any newsworthy event, scammers use fear and other emotions to coax victims to act against their best judgment. With the Omicron variant making headlines, bad actors have been sending various phishing emails.

Throughout the cybersecurity awareness community, phishes have been reported with these themes:

  • Exposure – ” “This letter is to inform you that you have been exposed to a coworker who tested positive for OMICRON variant of COVID-19 sometime between December 18th and 20th. Please take a look at the details in the attached document.”
  • Testing – an offer for a new COVID-19 Omicron PCR test that asks for your personal details and payment information
  • PPE Supplies – click this link for discounted masks and other PPE before shortages occur (because of Omicron)
  • Higher Education targeted – emails imitating a University’s login page, tricking victims into logging into their accounts with their credentials, pretending to have University information on the ongoing pandemic

Remember your SPAR training. Be prepared to respond to these phishing attacks like you would any other suspicious messaging. Report anything suspicious to abuse@uthsc.edu for examination.

What else has been reported to abuse@uthsc.edu over the holiday break?

  • School News – a too good to be true part-time job opportunity
  • Student And Staff – same as above with another Subject line
  • Holiday Offer – same as above – they really wanted to offer everyone this great part-time job!
  • Holiday Update – they kept sending and we kept blocking these as they were reported.
  • Job Update – sensing a theme here?????

Please note that none of these Subject lines had [Ext] in them. They came from compromised accounts from another UT campus.

Keep reporting suspicious emails to abuse@uthsc.edu for examination and any other inquiries for the Office of Cybersecurity should be directed to itsecurity@uthsc.edu.