May 19, 2020

CARES Scam Aimed at UW Students


Various forms of a scam attempting to leverage news about The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is targeting UW students. An example phishing email is below. Check the Phishing Examples page for updated examples, but please note that there will likely be many more versions of this scam.

The fraudulent messages may request that you:

  • Download documents to read, fill out, and/or sign.
  • Click on links or sign in to portals that may or may not appear to be UW-affiliated.
  • Disclose your address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, or other personal information.
  • Reveal your bank account number for automatic deposit.
  • Deposit checks into your bank account. Please note that these checks may initially clear but will be marked for “insufficient funds” at a later date.

Things To Do

  • Only provide or update your personal information through MyUW. The UW will use the information you have provided in MyUW to communicate with you or disburse aid to you. For more information about emergency aid see the Student Financial Aid Office website.
  • Beware of requests to cash checks or for transfers of money or gift cards.
  • Messages that solicit money, ask for your financial or bank account information, or offer to send you money should be regarded as highly suspicious.
  • Be cautious about clicking links or downloading attachments in email, even from someone you know.
  • Use strong passwords and protect your UW NetID credentials.
  • Report suspected email scams targeting the UW community to
  • Visit the OIS Scams page to learn more about scams targeting the UW community.
  • If you’ve been a victim of a scam, review the fraud alert and credit freeze information on the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.


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