Western Michigan University has been seeing a noticeable increase in phishing scams. These scams are much more sophisticated than they used to be.
- What is phishing? Phishing is an online scam involving emails that appear to be from a trusted source. Recent examples try to convince recipients that they are exceeding their email quota and need to upgrade their account by clicking a link. Others have said that the recipient's account is going to be deleted unless they click the link to renew it. Another recent one seems to take you to the GoWMU login page. These are all scams!
- What happens if I click the link? By clicking a phishing scam link, you may compromise your WMU computer account and/or your computer. With the GoWMU scam, you may even compromise your personal data. In the event that your personal data was changed in employee self-service in GoWMU, you will now receive an email stating a change has been made. If you did not initiate that change, contact Payroll at (269) 387-2935 or HR at (269) 387-3620.
- What happens if I compromised my computer? If the scam introduces malware to your computer, it is a lengthy process to clean the computer and restore it to pre-link clicking. That also may involve removal of your computer from the network, until it has been cleaned, as compromised computers may infect other computers on the network.
- What should I do if I receive a possible phishing scam email? Even though the email may appear to be from WMU, or your bank, or credit card holder or other trusted source, without clicking the link, hover your mouse pointer over it. The URL will display and you may see where it actually wants to take you. If the actual URL does not match the text of the link in the email do not click it. WMU will not ask you to to provide personal information via email and no University employee should ever ask you for your password.
- What if I can't tell if it is a scam? Scammers depend on an unsuspecting victim. The way to be safe is to think before you act so you do not fall prey to them. If ever in doubt, please contact the Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1.
- What if I think I did click a scammer's link? If you did click a link on a phishing scam, immediately go to the GoWMU login page and use the change your password link to set a new password. Then, contact the Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1.
To learn more about keeping safe online and what WMU does to help keep you safe, read: