Phishing emails continue to make their way into UW-Eau Claire student’s emails

UW-Eau Claire Police are asking students to verify and check sources before interacting with the emails

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Photo by Reonna Huettner

UW-Eau Claire police continue to warn students about the dangers of phishing scams

Last spring, the UW-Eau Claire Police Department worked to bring awareness to students, asking them to report any phishing scams before it was too late.

In a previous article, the UW-Eau Claire police saw two phishing scams taking place. One was emails sent from “professors” asking students for research help — otherwise known as a “make money fast” scheme — over social media messenger apps. 

Both would have students either buying and sending gift cards or sending money over electronic forms of payment like Apple Pay. 

This year, UW-Eau Claire police have seen the return of emails from so-called professors with research opportunities, along with them requesting students to buy and send over gift card information. 

“The email looks like it is from a UWEC account with the professor’s name, but there is usually (a few extra) characters in it,” Chris Kirchman, lieutenant of the UW-Eau Claire Police Department, said.

An example of this phishing scam includes a recent email sent out with the subject line reading “Employment Opportunity,” followed by an empty email with an attachment. The attached file has a professor’s name, what department and work they do, followed by a job description. 

It closes by saying the professor will be going out of the country and will send money in the mail for the purchases they will be asking the participant to make. It also asks for personal information and to reach out to the professor via a different email than their school account. 

“The advice we give is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,“ Kirchman said. “If people are not sure if the call/text/email is legitimate, do some further checking before responding.”

The other scam seen by the UW-Eau Claire police is phone calls from unknown or out-of-state numbers telling students that there is unusual activity on accounts. Accounts include Amazon, Apple, Visa/credit cards and personal documents like Social Security numbers.

Kirchman said that students should never give out any personal information over email, phone or text. 

Got a scam email and not sure what to do about it? 

The Learning & Technology Services at UW-Eau Claire wants students to not just delete the emails, but report it.

Greg Rineck, the Learning Spaces Technology Coordinator, said, “Don’t open it or click it, and make sure to contact the HelpDesk.” 

By reporting it to the LTS HelpDesk, it allows them to see what email was, what it was asking for and where it was sent from. From there, they can then use the Microsoft quarantine filter to prevent those types of emails from reaching students.

To report potential scam emails to LTS, forward the email to [email protected].  

The UW-Eau Claire Police Department can be reached by email, [email protected], phone, (715)-836-2222 as well as at their main office. For more contact information visit their website

Huettner can be contacted at [email protected].