Fake Emails from “UF Faculty” Targeting Students

SCREENGRAB: An example of a fake email claiming to be from a UF professor

Students are reporting suspicious emails in their Gmail or other non-UF inboxes, claiming to be from instructors. These phishing scams enable cybercriminals posing as faculty to convince students to deposit fake checks or send gift cards. Because students often handle email on their phones–where full email addresses are obscured–it isn’t immediately apparent that the email is a phish.

Impostor emails attempt to lure students with high-paying job opportunities and often come from faculty members the student doesn’t know. Cybercriminals can find enough information online to impersonate faculty without having to hack into their UF account. The proliferation of these scams is a great reminder to always be cautious when clicking on any email, no matter who they seem to come from.

1. Even if a phishing email doesn’t include a malicious link or attachment, it’s still just as dangerous if you respond.
2. The [External Email] tag will appear in the body of emails originating from outside the university, alerting you that it may well be malicious.

If you think an email in your Gmail or non-UF inbox is a phish, forward the message as an attachment to abuse@ufl.edu.