Office of the Chief Information Security Officer


Scams targeting UW students and staff

Recently there has been a surge in email, text and phone scams aimed at UW students and staff. These hoaxes are not new but they are constantly being adapted in order to better target personal and financial information and accounts belonging to members of the UW community. These scammers may:

  • Ask you to buy gift cards or to send or receive money advances with the promise of easy jobs, tuition discounts or other rewards.
  • Entice you with internships, financial aid or tuition payments.
  • Send messages that appear to be from UW employees, but they are sent from phony or spoofed email accounts.
  • Ask you to provide a cell phone number or non-UW email address in order to contact you via alternative methods.

Stay aware and protect your UW NetID credentials

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 cautious about clicking links in email, even from someone you know.
  • Use strong passwords and protect your UW NetID credentials.
  • Report suspected email scams to
  • If you’ve been a victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement, such as UW Police.

Learn More

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.)

Phishing Examples web page

Info on Grant-Related Scams

FBI Info on Scams and Safety