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What to do if You Receive a Phishing Attempt

Identify and react to a phishing attempt in a way that protects yourself and your colleagues.

Online Messages

If you suspect that an email or text message you received is a phishing attempt:

  • Do not open it. In some cases, the act of opening the phishing email may cause you to compromise the security of your Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
  • Delete it immediately to prevent yourself from accidentally opening the message in the future.
  • Do not download any attachments accompanying the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms or spyware.
  • Never click links that appear in the message. Links embedded within phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
  • Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests the sender may solicit and do not call phone numbers provided in the message.
  • Report it. Help others avoid phishing attempts:

Phone Calls

If you receive a phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt:

  • Hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your Caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local.
  • Do not respond to the caller’s requests. University at Buffalo, financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your PII. Never give PII to the incoming caller.

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