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College Community Warned Against Nameless, Varied e-Mail Scam

Previous articles from Information Technology Services have alerted the Penn College community to e-mail scams from business imposters such as Citibank, eBay, PayPal, etc. These “phishing” scams try to deceive you into providing account information by replicating familiar corporate logos, trademarks, and Web sites.

Students and employees now are being courted by an even more dangerous type of e-mail scam one that ITS can’t specifically warn against because it comes from nameless sources in countless variations.

These scams generally indicate the recipient has either won a cash prize or is the beneficiary of an unknown deceased relative with the same last name.

In both scenarios, the e-mail instructs the recipient to send (either through e-mail or fax) driver’s license, Social Security, bank account and credit card information to an untraceable location. Some scams also involve a processing fee. The message explains that the recipient must send the required documentation and processing fee within a specified amount of time to claim the prize or estate holdings.

By the time these identity-theft victims realize they have been deceived, their bank accounts will have been drained and their credit exhausted.

Students and employees who fall victim to this form of “phishing” may have no recourse. The scammer typically operates from overseas, out of reach of U.S. law enforcement.

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