Safely Use Virtual Payment Apps

Scammers use peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps like Cash App, Zelle, and Venmo to steal money. According to the Pew Research Center, 10% of P2P app users have been scammed. P2P apps allow users to easily send money with a phone tap. But if it’s convenient for you, it’s also convenient for scammers.

Vishing or smishing is often used to initiate P2P scams. For example, a scammer may impersonate a bank representative in a call or text to a victim about a “suspicious transaction” on their Zelle account. The scammer will request the victim’s bank login information to resolve the concern but will use the information to steal money. A bank representative will never ask for your username and password to access your account. Stay cyber-secure by only sending money to people you know, and double-checking you are sending money to the correct name, phone number, and username. Also, you should only use a credit card for transactions with strangers, because credit cards have fraud protection. And Gators, make sure to allow app updates (or install them when they become available on your device) for the latest security enhancements, like multi-factor authentication updates and app safety features.

Learn to protect yourself online by becoming more cyber-aware. Schedule a ½ hour to take the today.

Social Engineering Pages Added to Website

UFIT recently added new pages to that educate about social engineering scams. The university community is a huge target for social engineering attacks–attacks that include phishing and smishing. By reviewing the social engineering webpages, Gators can learn the difference between everyday communications and an actual social engineering attack.

Received a text recently saying your UF email account will be suspended if you don’t certify your account via the link provided? Smish! UFIT has tracked significant growth in social engineering attempts like this in the past year. Social engineering attempts range from fake bank texts and “extended warranty” phone calls to emails pretending to be from UF professors offering $350 per week jobs. Having a large community on one network is extremely attractive for cyber-scammers. So, helping all Gators better understand which communications are legitimate and which are fraudulent keeps all us safer from attacks.

It only takes one click on a malicious link to cause a world of hurt. Learn to recognize social engineering tactics and help secure UF! If you are unsure whether an email or text purporting to be from UF is legitimate, you can always ask the UFIT Help Desk for assistance.