Office of the Chief Information Security Officer

October 9, 2020

Phishing for financial aid credentials

This message is intended for financial aid recipients as well as staff who handle student information.

Cyberthieves have been sending phishing email messages tailored to steal student login credentials on financial aid websites. The emails link to phony websites to harvest login credentials for student financial aid accounts, and once the credentials are obtained, thieves change the direct deposit information, re-directing payments to their own bank accounts.

Please note that these messages may be crafted with information about you that may be found on the Internet, a tactic known as “spear-phishing.”

Protect your UW NetID and other credentials

Official UW business is regularly conducted through UW systems, such as MyUW and Canvas.  So, you can login to these University websites to access the information you need.

The following tips may help secure your personal and UW institutional information and login credentials:

• Be cautious about clicking links in email, even if they appear to be from someone you know or a UW office.
• Email messages, phone calls, and texts that request that you log in to your bank account or other financial accounts should be regarded as highly suspicious, as well as messages with offers to send you money.
• Avoid using your UW NetID credentials and other UW student information on links and websites that are not official UW systems.
• Enable notifications of transactions from your financial accounts.
• Regularly check your contact and notification information on bank and other financial accounts.
• Use strong passwords and protect your UW NetID and other login credentials.
• Enable multi-factor authentication on your accounts wherever possible.
• Report suspected email scams to security@uw.edu.
• If you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement, such as UW Police.

Example

Learn More

Scams targeting the UW community

Phishing Examples web page

CARES, or Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund scams

Coronavirus-themed phishing and malware lures

“Secret shopper” job scam

Information Security for Students postcard

“Are You Available?” gift card scams

Gift Card Scam infographic
(See printing instructions to post in common areas.)

Info on Grant-Related Scams
https://www.grants.gov/learn-grants/grant-fraud/grant-related-scams.html

FBI Info on Scams and Safety
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety
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