Below are examples of recent SPAM received by firstname.lastname@example.org. Most messages are being scored and tagged as cpSPAM so recipients can easily filter and delete them. Cal Poly's anti-spam gateway scores all incoming email from non-trusted sources, including messages that appear to come from Cal Poly. Visit the SPAM information page to learn how to identify, filter and deal with SPAM. See also actual phishing emails received by Cal Poly users.
YAHOO EMAILS CONTAINING A SINGLE SUSPICIOUS LINK (3/11/13)
Many campus users are receiving unsolicited emails from various @yahoo.com addresses. The sender may be known to the recipient or not. The messages are being sent to a handful of recipients often starting with the same letter and listed in alphabetical order.
Subject lines include the sender's name, no subject, 'link', 'breaking news', 'news', etc. Some messages are being caught and tagged as "cpSPAM" by Cal Poly's anti-SPAM gateway. The body of the message contains a single Web link and may be accompanied by the sender's name. No two links are the same but all of the Web sites promote the same weight-loss product.
If you know the sender and are concerned about their Yahoo account being compromised, please forward the email with full message headers to email@example.com. Otherwise, just delete them.
BOGUS 'RETAIN YOUR CALPOLY.EDU ACCOUNT' MESSAGE (12/3/12)
Many campus users reported receiving an email message from an actual @calpoly.edu address with a subject line "If you want to retain your calpoly.edu account". The message says the user must reply with their username, password and birthday or lose access to their account within three days. This is a "spear-phishing" SCAM email designed to obtain your campus login credentials by pretending to be from Cal Poly. Armed with this information, a third party can access and use your account to send SPAM or for other illicit purposes.
Information Technology Services (ITS) would never ask a user to provide your Cal Poly password via email or a non-calpoly.edu website. If you did respond, please contact the ITS Service Desk immediately at 805.756.7000 to change your Cal Poly password and security questions. If you did not send any information, you can safely delete the message.
BOGUS CAL POLY USERNAME AND PASSWORD REQUEST (8/13/12)
Many campus users reported receiving email messages from "CALPOLY.EDU WEBMAIL ADMIN HELPDESK" with a subject line "Important Information About Your Webmail Account". It is signed "@CALPOLY.EDU Webmail Update Team". The message says the user's mail box has exceeded its storage limit and that recipients must click a link where they are asked to enter their Cal Poly username and password. These are "spear-phishing" SCAM emails designed to obtain your campus login credentials by pretending to be from Cal Poly. Armed with your username, password or other personal information, a third party can access and use your account to send SPAM or for other illicit purposes.
Information Technology Services (ITS) would never ask a user to provide your Cal Poly password via email or a non-calpoly.edu website. mbra or by contacting the ITS Service Desk. If you clicked the link and entered your Cal Poly login information, plese contact the ITS Service Desk immediately at 805.756.7000 to change your Cal Poly password and security questions. If you did not send any information, you can safely delete the message.
SPEAR PHISHING CAL POLY EMAILS WITH GOOGLE LINKS (8/1/12)
This week, Cal Poly has been the target of a spear phishing attack. A spear phishing email targets users at an institution by appearing to come from that institution. Over the past few days, several hundred Cal Poly users have received emails purporting to come from the ITS Service Desk or Cal Poly Web Team. The messages contain a link to a non-calpoly.edu web form (on Google) asking you to enter your Cal Poly username and password. Subjects include “News Update”, “Dear CALPOLY User”, “Campus Information”, "Important Message" and the like. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! Doing so can put your computer and information at risk. If you clicked the link and entered your Cal Poly login and password, contact the ITS Service Desk (805.756.7000) for information and assistance.
BOGUS ZIMBRA EMAIL DELETION CONFIRMATION (7/2/12)
Many campus users reported receiving email messages addressed "Dear subscriber" from "Zimbra!Mail Team" with a subject line "Zimbra! Email Deletion Confirmation". The phony Zimbra Service Announcement asks recipients to click on a link or their account will be deactivated and deleted within 24 hours.
This is a "spear-phishing" SCAM email designed to obtain confidential information by pretending to be from Zimbra. Armed with your username and password, a third party can access and use your Cal Poly email account to send SPAM or for other illicit purposes. The link in this particular email appears legitimate initially, until you realize that it's actually pointing to another, malicious site. As always, do NOT click on the link.
Information Technology Services (ITS) would never ask a user to provide personal or sensitive information via email or non-calpoly.edu website. ITS has a process in place to identify and work with Cal Poly users who reply to such messages, including changing their password and security questions. For assistance, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 805.756.7000.
SPAM MESSAGES FROM BANKS AND E-COMMERCE SITES (PHISHING SCAMS)
Many users receive messages that seem to come from a legitimate business such as a well-known bank or online service (e.g., PayPal, Amazon, E-Bay). These are "phishing" scams designed to trick the recipient into providing credit card, account or personal information to the scammer. See What is Phishing? and Internet Scams and Hoaxes for more information.
OTHER SPAM MESSAGES AND THE CURRENT STATE OF SPAM
Other common SPAM messages promote watches, home loans, drugs, stocks and other products. Most come from overseas, making it difficult for the recipient to complain. SPAM will continue to exist as long as it is profitable to the sender. To make a profit, a SPAMmer will generate millions of messages. In addition, SPAMmers are continually inventing ways to bypass anti-spam tools which is why SPAM is increasing everywhere. Please read this news report for more information on the current state of SPAM and why it is so hard to stop.