Office of the Chief Information Security Officer

November 15, 2021

Be aware of holiday scams

As the winter holiday season approaches, take time to review alerts about about seasonal scams. Scams may arrive as email, text, phone, and social media messages. They are continually adapted to target university communities through phishing, gift card scams, phony holiday invitations and messages, and fraudulent offers for seasonal employment.

Your awareness of these schemes is the best defense. Check out the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) advisory as well as our Scams and Phishing Examples pages and other resources linked on this page.

Holiday scams are often aimed at the elderly, so share helpful and relevant information with family and friends who may be targeted.

The following tips may help keep your personal information and UW NetID login credentials secure throughout the year:

  • Beware of requests 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 aware that scammers may use phone calls to contact you, and they may use info they’ve found online to trick you into believing they are someone you know. Be skeptical of any unsolicited call.
  • Be cautious about clicking links and opening attachments in email, even from someone you know.
  • Use strong passwords and protect your UW NetID credentials.
  • 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.

Resources

Online Holiday Shopping Scams advisory from CISA

Cybercrime Support Network and Google: Scam Spotter

Holiday Online Safety Tips Sheet

Report Internet Fraud to IC3.gov

Scams and Fraud info from AARP

Phishing at UW online training

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