Viruses, Spyware / Malware and Pop-Ups, and Phishing

Phishing (fishing) (n.) The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. These emails can be masked to look as if they were sent from your bank or credit card company.

Phishing, also referred to as brand spoofing or carding, is a variation on “fishing,” the idea being that bait is thrown out with the hopes that while most will ignore the bait, some will be tempted into biting.Don’t get hooked!

Wheaton’s Information Technology Services will NEVER send you an e-mail asking for usernames and passwords. If you are sure that a message is a phishing scam please go into the message within Gmail and select the small down arrow on the right and select “Report phishing”.

In order for Internet criminals to successfully “Phish” your personal information, they must get you to go from and email to a website. Phishing emails will almost always tell you to click a link that takes you to a site where your personal information is requested. Legitimate organizations, like Wheaton College, would never request this information of you by email.

At first glance, these messages appear to be from a legitimate source, but a closer inspection usually reveals numerous flaws. Here’s what to look for in a phishing email:

  1. Generic Greeting. Phishing emails are usually sent in large batches. To save time, Internet criminals use generic names like “Dear Wells Fargo Online Customer”. If you don’t see your name… be suspicious!
  2. Request for personal information. The point of sending phishing email is to trick you into providing your personal information. If you receive an email requesting your personal information, it is probably a phishing attempt.
  3. Sense of urgency. Internet criminals want you to provide your personal information now. They do this by making you think something has happened that requires you to act fast.
  4. Forged link. Even if a link has a name you recognize somewhere in it, it doesn’t mean it links to the real organization. Roll your mouse over the link and see if it matches what appears in the email. If there is a discrepancy, don’t click on the link. For example:

Here is an example of a PHISHING email

If you receive an email like this Please DO NOT reply

From: “Wheaton College GMAIL UPGRADE”
Reply-To: gmailupgradeteam008 @
User-Agent: SquirrelMail/1.4.9a
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
Importance: Normal
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear Wheaton College User,

This Email is from Wheaton College user Customer Care and we are sending it to every gmail User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of accounts so we are shutting down some accounts and your account was among those to be deleted.

We are sending you this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below. Your Username, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

Due to the congestion in all gmail users and removal of all unused Accounts, Gmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your by filling the space below. Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons. You are to send the following information for verification

* Username: ……………………….
* Password: ……………………….
* Date of Birth: …………………..
* Country Or Territory: …………….

Your response should be sent to admin manager
Email:gmaillupgradeteam008 @

Waiting to received the details of your two email.

Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two weeks of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Customer Care Of Wheaton College