Hackers try to entice you into a trap by sending you intriguing messages that grab your attention. Your information, identity, and access can be at risk if you click a link or respond. Recent examples include messages appearing to come from an important person, such as your dean, boss or another UAB executive. The person needs your help and it’s urgent. They will ask you to pick something up, like a gift card, because they are stuck in a meeting. The urgency and authority of the person is believable, but you should remain suspicious.

Dont get trapped

After you rush out to get the gift card, they’ll ask you to send the card information to them. Later you’ll find out you weren’t actually communicating with the person you thought you were, and it will be too late. The hacker will have used the gift card and you’ll be out the money.

These are common tactics that hackers use to target large numbers of people, hoping they can trap you into falling for their scam. Watch out for these types of situations and double-check it is really from the person you think it is.

If you’re ever unsure about a message don’t engage by responding, clicking links or downloading attachments. Report the message by clicking the “Report a Phish” button in Outlook or by forwarding the message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Learn more about phishing scams and stay cyber aware.