Phishing scams are one of the most common ways for data to be breached. Phishing uses fake emails or websites to collect usernames and passwords as well as bank account numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. These emails and websites may look real, but they are actually designed to fool you into divulging information. Below are current and past alerts.
Remember, Austin Community College District will never request personal information, usernames, passwords, or money from you via email.
Recent Phishing Alerts and Scams
Below are examples of phishing scams that have been received by the ACC community. You may review these examples to familiarize yourself with various phishing messages.
What Is Phishing?
Criminals use malicious emails and websites to try to trick you into revealing your password or other sensitive information or to infect your computer with malware. Phishing email often uses urgent language, asks for personal information, and has grammatical, typographical, or other obvious errors. Learn how to recognize phishing and other malicious email to protect yourself and ACC.
How to Spot Phishes
You can identify a phishing scam by looking for email messages that:
- Come from a sender you don’t know
- Use unknown email addresses or suspicious or misleading domain names
- Include grammar and spelling errors
- Create a sense of urgency
- Invoke strong emotions, like greed or fear
- Request sensitive data (like usernames and passwords)
- Contain suspicious or unknown links. Do not click on links or attachments from senders that you do not recognize. Be especially wary of .zip, shared Google Docs, or other compressed or executable file types.
- Include attachments or links to unknown files. Be especially cautious when opening attachments or clicking links if you receive an email containing a warning banner indicating that it originated from an external source. Pay special attention to Google Docs that are shared with you or that you are tagged in. Hackers may use a Google account to create a Google Document and then comment on it to mention the target with an @. This triggers a legit Google notification and may contain malicious content.
- Pay special attention to Google Docs that are shared with you or that you are tagged in. Hackers may use a Google account to create a Google Document and then comment on it to mention the target with an @. This triggers a legit Google notification and may contain malicious content.
Always remember that legitimate companies and organizations will never ask for passwords, social security numbers, and other sensitive data via email.
If you can’t tell if an email is legitimate or not, please contact ACC Student Helpdesk
To report a phishing email, take these simple steps:
From the original email:
- Select the three dots next to the “Reply” arrow
- Select “Report phishing”
- Delete the email
If It Happens to You
If you gave personal information in response to a phishing email or on a suspicious webpage, your account may be compromised.
- Change your passwords and enable MFA.
- Alert the ACC Police Department
- If you feel your bank account or credit card has been compromised, reach out to your bank or issuing credit card vendor (ie: Bank, retail store such Target, Walmart, etc.) immediately.