A growing number of Graceland employees and students have been scammed recently and I want to help keep it from happening to you.
If I told you I was a Nigerian Prince and all I needed was your bank account number and mother's maiden name, you wouldn't tell me. You know better. You'd know that I'm a thief pretending to be a prince in order to get your personal information and then your money.
But if you received an email from someone claiming to work for the IT department and asked for your password what would you do? Would you tell them?
Never give your password to anyone.
Worldwide, an alarming number of people fall for this simple tactic and Graceland is not immune. In fact, here at Graceland we pride ourselves in our wholesome community values including trust. But scammers prey on trust and they are only masquerading as members of our community. Simply asking someone for their password is the oldest and simplest way to hack into computer systems. It's called social engineering, and it can happen over the phone, over email or text message and even face-to-face. Even savvy people can turn over sensitive information like their password just by being asked because they don't realize that the request comes from a criminal.
This is a large and increasing problem at Graceland. It has serious consequences both to your private information and to Graceland’s reputation and ability to communicate to students and prospects. When people fall for these scams and their accounts are used to send millions of emails a couple of important things happen. First of all we get on email "blacklists" and people we email from colleagues to donors to prospective students don't get our messages. Secondly, it creates a huge amount of work to find the problem, stop the spamming, close the account and get Graceland's reputation cleared.
And that's just the cost to Graceland. There is a personal cost as well. I can imagine how I'd feel if those breast enlargement emails everyone gets had my name and email address on them. Think about what you would lose when scammers empty your entire email box. Some spammers email their victim's entire contact list. Many people have had emails sent to all their friends and family saying that they had been in an accident or that their vacation had gone horribly wrong and requesting money right away. Some scammers use your good name to conduct criminal activity. These are not exaggerations. These are the actual reasons people want to trick you into giving them your account information.
Never give your password to anyone. IT doesn't need your password.
This kind of trickery is often called phishing ("fishing").
Here's a recent example: