Gone phishing: Scammers targeting student emails again


Photo by Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

by Alyssa Craven, Staff Writer

Emails attempting to steal student’s information have been making the rounds this semester at Simpson College.

These emails are phishing attempts, where the senders try to steal personal information, passwords and banking information.

Andy Irving, network and PC administrator, said there have been five phishing emails that Simpson has been alerted to this semester.

The IT department sends out emails warning students about the phishing attempt.

“The phishing attempts have not increased this year so far,” Irving said. “Staff and faculty get the attempts more often than students. We have been sending the caution emails to students mainly to make sure they don’t fall for the email.”

Simpson has protections to stop phishing emails from getting to staff and students.

Paul Crittenden of the IT department said, “We employ a spam filter to try and catch as much as we can. The main thing is that there needs to be something in the email that triggers the filter to think it is a spam email.

“If it looks legit to us it probably looks legit to the filter. If we crack the filtering down to far then a lot of emails that people actually want get caught in the filter,” he added.

Faculty and staff go through training to avoid phishing emails. Students can also take steps to protect themselves from phishing emails.

“Normally the grammar is very poor in these emails, and they are asking for personal information. Also, if it looks like it is from a Simpson College employee you can hover over your mouse over the sender’s name and it will show a strange email address instead of an @simpson.edu,” Irving said.

“The big thing to remember that Simpson College, your friends, and acquaintances will never ask for your username, password, social security number, credit card number or any other personal information by email or phone unless you are the one who initiates contact,” Crittenden said.