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Common Cybercrimes & Telephone Scams

Phishing

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  • E-mails disguised as legitimate organizations requesting personal information and threatening to terminate your account unless your respond to their link.

  • E-mails that offer you big riches if you provide your account information.

  • E-mails requesting confirmation of your payment details for an order you may (or may not have) placed.

Be very suspicious of these e-mails, as phishing crooks are clever and will often use the exact logos of big name companies with which you may do business, such as a major retailer or financial institutions. Never click through a link on any e-mail unless you personally know the sender.

IRS Refund, debt owed, or threat to report you to immigration authorities

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  • You receive an e-mail telling you that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has a refund for you. All you have to do is click through the e-mail and provide your bank account information.

  • You receive a telephone call from a person claiming to be working for the government. The caller threatens to deport you or report immigration authorities unless you wire money immediately.

Be aware that the IRS or other government agency will never contact you via email or telephone. If they need to reach you, they will send a letter to your home address.

Foreign Lottery Scam

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E-mail, letter or check telling you that you have won a foreign lottery even if you didn't buy a ticket. To collect the reward, you must provide your bank account number to deposit the funds.

Calls to "confirm" your personal information

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A legitimate bank will never call and ask you for your full account numbers or to confirm your PIN number. The consumer is the party that initiates contact.
To ensure legitimacy of the call, hang up and call the bank directly. This way, you initiated the contact.

Fake Jury Duty

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Phone call to inform you that you missed jury duty and he or she needs to confirm your personal information. Only US citizens are eligible to serve in juries, therefore, it is a scam.

Medical Identity Theft

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  • Telephone call or email claiming to be calling from your doctors' office or health insurance. Typically asking for personal information dates of birth, and Social Security Numbers.

  • Do not share your medical history over email or telephone. Do it in person and only with people who need this information to provide you medical services.

  • When you go to the doctor, keep an eye out that records are kept in a secure area.

  • Don't provide your Social Security Number unless there is a good reason to do so.

  • Ask your insurance company to give you a health insurance card without your Social Security Number on it.

Protection from Scams

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  • International students may be contacted by people pretending they work for the US government and asking for money or personal information, such as Social Security Numbers, passport information, credit card numbers and online passwords.

  • DO NOT PAY ANY MONEY OR PROVIDE PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE CLAIMING TO BE A PUBLIC OFFICIAL ON THE PHONE OR BY EMAIL!

  • Please be aware that no US government agency will EVER require you to wire money immediately to ANY entity or request funds by phone or email. If you receive this type of call or message, please report it immediately to iadvisor@unm.edu!

  • Also, it is easy for people to steal your information when you use public computers if you do not erase your log-in trail.