ITS News

Information Technology Services

If you receive an email that asks you to buy gift cards and send the codes on the back of the card, do not respond. It is a scam!

Spearfishing scammers are targeting members of the UNCG community with a sustained, ongoing gift card scam. These hand-crafted attacks target UNCG employees by impersonating their supervisor and asking them to do a “favor” by purchasing gift cards.

Targeted scam emails are harder for an automated system to detect than traditional mass-mailing spam. So, the attackers impersonate UNCG employees using the correct name, signature line, and a similar email address. They craft personalized and legitimate-looking messages that convey an urgent need for help. Victims are asked to purchase gift cards, such as Apple iTunes gift cards, and to reply with photos of the cards, allowing the criminal to redeem the value without possessing the card.

This scam appears to be moving from department to department and has, unfortunately, cost employees hundreds of dollars. ITS believes scammers are gleaning information from departmental websites or possibly conference attendance lists to identify whom they need to impersonate to run the scam.

How to protect yourself:

  • Do not send a reply to the email.
  • Speak directly with the person the email claims to come from. Also, if the message directs you not to contact the sender, it’s a scam. Report it to 6TECH right away.
  • Check the full email address on the message. These scam messages display the name of a UNCG employee, but the actual email address is not a UNCG address. For example, username@uncg.edu would be a legitimate UNCG email address, username.uncg.edu@qvc.com would not.

Contact 6TECH if you believe an email you’ve received is a scam, especially if it appears to be a crafted, customized attack targeted at you.

For technical assistance, please submit a 6-TECH ticket, call 6-TECH at (336) 256-TECH (8324), or email 6-TECH@uncg.edu.