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NFIB issues alert as fraudsters target universities in pay rise scam

The City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is urging university staff to take preventative action following more than 100 reports from victims receiving bogus pay rise emails.

In an alert issued by the NFIB, ‘phishing’ emails claiming to be from university HR departments are being used by fraudsters in a bid to gather financial details by suggesting that university staff recipients are due a pay rise.

However, when recipients click on the link, they are taken to a fake website where they are asked to enter personal information, including university log in and financial details. Police forces and governmental agencies have also been targeted by similar emails.

The NFIB is now urging university staff to change any passwords associated with their email accounts and IT accounts.

Furthermore, passwords should use a combination of letters, numbers and special characters, preferably using random words as opposed to those with personal meaning, such as children’s or pet’s names.

Additionally everyone should avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails or SMS messages; fraudsters can falsify an email address to copy one from somebody you trust. If unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of the email.

Software update should always be installed as soon as they become available in order to offer fixes for critical security vulnerabilities and if you believe your bank details may have been compromised, you should report this to your bank immediately.

Regional police forces are currently investigating the reports that have been received so far.

Stephen Proffitt, Deputy Head of Action Fraud said: “Phishing emails continue to be a serious problem. It is essential that those affected take the appropriate action to protect their personal details.”

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