Phishing scam looks to hook UNF employees

Travis Gibson

University telephone located in the lobby of Spinnaker Media.
University telephone located in the lobby of Spinnaker Media.

UNF Information Technology Services believes that a rash of recent calls made to the school are part of a large scale phishing scam.

According to a faculty and staff wide email sent by Assistant Director for IT Communications and Training Alison Cruess on Thursday, university phone numbers have been inundated with serial telephone calls — as many as 40 per hour.

The calls to the default UNF phone number started this week but peaked Thursday, Cruess said in an interview with the Spinnaker.

“The calls came from the same Skype number,” Cruess said. “But each call had a different voice.”

The university’s AT&T representative suggested the calls may be part of a phishing scam.

The scammers claim to be from various big-name companies including FedEx, U.S. Bank and Bank of America.

Callers typically ask for individuals who have no relation to the university or have retired, according to the email sent to university staff members.

Cruess said the increasing number of calls and the fact that the calls started to target specific departments led to her distributing the advisory email.

Thieves design phishing scams to acquire personal information such as user names, passwords and credit card information. Scams usually involve posing as a trustworthy company to gain a caller’s trust.

“Right now it’s just a nuisance, but we don’t want anyone to get scammed,” Cruess said over the phone.

If a faculty or staff member receives this type of phone call, Cruess advises to inform the caller “You are hereby notified to cease and desist further calls to this number. Any future calls will be referred to the University Police Department for action,” and then hang up, according to UNF.

If anyone has any questions they can call the ITS Help Desk at (904) 620-4357 or email [email protected]