From the Office of Information Technology Services:
There has been a recent increase in global cyberattacks, with a 64% increase in cybercrime since 2020. You may have even received a suspicious text message or phone call to your cellphone. Here are some of the scams sweeping across the country. 
Smishing Scams
Smishing is a combination of the terms SMS (short messages service) and phishing. A recent smishing scam involving the payment app, Zelle, was covered by The New York Times. These scams are particularly dangerous because they appear to come from well-known financial institutions and other federal or state agencies, such as the United States Postal Service. Smishing scams include a link or phone number to bait you into clicking or calling. The scammers manipulate your personal information, which they can sell and/or use in other scams. They may also try to entice you into downloading malware to your device. If you receive a suspicious text message from someone posing as a representative of a financial institution or other agency, ignore it and contact the financial institution or agency to verify the information. Multiple federal and state agencies have issued warnings to stay vigilant. 
IRS Tax Scams
It’s tax season and prime season for IRS tax scams, which come in many forms. Scammers use regular mail, telephone, text, and email in an attempt to steal your financial information or other personal information. Remember, the IRS will not make initial contact via email, text message, social media, or telephone. The scammers may threaten you with arrest or vow to cancel your Social Security number, or they may even pretend to offer you an additional stimulus payment. Do not take the bait. Please read more about Tax Scams on the IRS website: Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts | Internal Revenue Service (  
Donation Scams
Scammers look for every opportunity to take advantage of kind hearts. Donation scams significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and currently with the war in Ukraine. Exercise caution when you receive any unsolicited calls to action to donate to an unfamiliar organization. 
How can you protect yourself? 
  • Keep your guard up! 
  • Do not respond to texts from unknown numbers or to any others that appear suspicious. 
  • Never share sensitive personal or financial information via text. 
  • Think twice before clicking any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call your friend to make sure they weren't hacked. 
  • If a business sends you a text that you weren't expecting, call them to verify its authenticity using the number on your bill or statement, or look up the business’s number online. 
  • Remember that government agencies almost never initiate contact by phone or text. 
  • Report texting scam attempts to your wireless service provider by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (or "SPAM"). 
  • File a complaint with the FCC. 
  • If you think you're the victim of a texting scam, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency and notify your wireless service provider and the financial institutions where you have accounts. 
Remember to stay vigilant, even on your personal cellular and mobile devices.  
We are developing a cybersecurity awareness training program for Queens College. In the interim, please feel free to take the following CUNY cybersecurity awareness course:
Read more about cyberscams: 

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