Beware of Cybercriminals Targeting Missouri State

Recently, cybercriminals have impersonated at least four Missouri State administrators in fraudulent emails. These criminals have attempted to use targeted, fraudulent emails to steal University funds, as well as personal data that could be used to impersonate or steal from Missouri State employees and students. Due to the knowledge and vigilance of the employees targeted, no University funds or data has been lost, but it’s more important than ever that we stay aware of these threats to keep our students, colleagues, and institution safe.

There are actions you can take to help:

  • Be suspicious of email. Cybercriminals are able to send emails that appear to be from anyone they choose, even your supervisor. If you are instructed to do something like send money or reply with data, verify those instructions by phone or in person.
  • Know where your reply is going. If you do reply to an email, check that the “To” address in your reply is what you expected. One tactic used by cybercriminals is setting a “Reply-to” address that is different than the “From” address.
  • Look out for secrecy and urgency. Cybercriminals will often try to avoid your suspicion by making their request sound secret and urgent. Phrases like “Do this immediately” or “Please do not speak with anyone by phone or email” should be red flags.
  • Contact Information Security. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Information Security at InformationSecurity@missouristate.edu or 836-8391.

Maintain awareness and vigilance by following these tips, and you will continue to lessen the effectiveness of fraudulent emails sent to your work or personal email accounts.

About Rob Martin

Robert Martin is the Information Security Analyst in the Information Security Office. He is responsible for managing information security tools, ensuring that the University is in compliance with information security policies and regulations, and promoting information security awareness. He has more than nine years of information technology experience at Missouri State University.
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