Online Security Alert – Identity Theft Posted on September 13th, 2017 by

Online identity theft can result from replying to phishing emails or visiting websites that are compromised. These sites can prompt the user via a pop up window to call a number because the computer is infected or slow.   The pop ups claim to offer help by calling the number or installing software, when in reality, there is no problem with the computer. 

When calling these phone numbers listed in the pop ups, the phone call connects you with the identity thieves that want remote access or to control your computer. The people behind the scam usually ask for a credit card number for performing the “service” they are providing. When they have remote control of your device, they have access to any data on the computer. These thieves may also ask for your passwords to “help” you out.

Please exercise extreme caution when browsing the web and avoid visiting websites where you have unauthorized access to normally paid content. If you receive a pop-up that suggests you call for computer help, please think twice. If you have any doubts or questions, please contact the Technology Helpline (507-933-6111) as soon as possible for assistance. If you are offered to have remote assistance, be sure that it is from someone you trust or have worked with before.

If you have accidentally given your password to someone, please change it as soon as possible and be sure to check your account to make sure no personal details or alternate email addresses have been changed. Using two-factor authentication for online accounts is recommended. Gustavus offers two factor authentication to help prevent unauthorized access to your account. For more information on Duo Two Factor authentication at Gustavus, please see:

If you have given a credit card number to somebody who shouldn’t have it, please contact your bank/credit card number as soon as possible to alert them. The bank/credit card company will help you with your accounts that may have been compromised.

If you have given remote access to somebody and found out later that it was a part of scam, we would recommend that you make a backup of your data and completely erase and reinstall your operating system. This will ensure any programs that were used to gain access to your computer are gone.

If you feel you have been a victim of an identity theft scheme, please contact Campus Safety to report the incident.

For more information, please visit the Security Awareness training on Hoonuit!, an online learning resource available to all Gustavus faculty, staff, and students.   After logging into the Gustavus website, please log into Hoonuit! and then visit the link:



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