University warns of increase in fraudulent ‘phishing’ emails

In one recent email alleging to be from University President Kaler’s office, recipients were told to provide email login information.

The University of Minnesota is warning students, faculty and staff to be on the lookout for fraudulent emails purporting to be from senior school officials.

In a campus-wide email Thursday, Bernard Gulachek, the University’s interim chief information officer, warned the community about an increase in “phishing” emails allegedly coming from University President Eric Kaler.

In one recent fraudulent email to “staffs,” recipients were told to verify their email account within 72 hours by downloading an attachment and then entering their login information or face email restrictions.

“Phishers” send the emails in an attempt to gain access to personal information, Gulachek said in his email. He said the scamming attempts are timed to the new tax year.

“Phishing emails … while appearing authentic and seemingly coming from reputable sources, can deceive the smartest and most cautious recipient,” he said in the email. “While our technology team works hard to reduce the number of these messages that you encounter — and the impact that they cause — it is impossible to eliminate them. This has become the unfortunate reality of the world in which we live.”

Gulachek recommended visiting the University’s page on how to recognize and report email scams, reporting emails to [email protected], visiting and opting into duo two-factor protection that offers additional password protection.