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FRAUD: (Impersonation)

Why this looks valid

  • The email looks like it is from someone from Marist College, most likely your supervisor, department head, or a campus Senior Leader
  • The email may have an exact replica of the person's email signature
  • Frequently the email will address the recipient by name

Why this is fraud

  • The originating email address is not a Marist College address
  • If the recipient responds to the message, the communication will quickly transfer to text message or phone, and the scammer will try to convince the person to purchase a gift card or perpetuate another type of fraudulent financial transaction

Additional notes

  • This is a very common scam that is regularly reported to Marist IT - the scam is based on existing trust relationships among the Marist community, and is perpetuated by impersonating a supervisor and emailing everyone in their organization
  • This scam can also happen through text message - always be wary of any communication that leads off with a high sense of urgency
  • A phone call to the alleged sender would quickly verify if this is a legitimate email - it only takes a few minutes to pick up the phone!
  • This scam been circulating for years, and is common enough that the FTC wrote a warning on their blog: FTC Blog - Your boss isn't emailing you about a gift card
  • Remember to always send suspicious email messages to phishing@marist.edu - Timely reporting helps keep the entire Marist College community safe from cyber criminals!
  • Stay diligent!  Report any messages similar to this one immediately.