As often as they arrive, delete them

A sure sign of spring is the yearly emergence of tax-related phishing scams in your email inbox. Get your delete button ready.

One bogus email that surfaced at UC Berkeley and UCLA this week purported to come from UC's president and asked for "all our employee's reference copies of 2015 W-2 wages and tax statement." Its implausibility, language problems, and request to send sensitive data via email mark this as a classic phishing fraud.

There will be more such messages, about taxes and otherwise. UC Berkeley has a page of examples. Here's a recent scam at UCLA. Here's one at UC Davis we marked up for an educational flier in 2009--these things have been around forever.

Spam filters block most phishing messages, but when one reaches you anyway, just delete it. Be skeptical about any message that asks for private data, even if it seems to come from someone important to you. If you have doubts about a message at UC Davis, consult your local department IT or the IT Express Service Desk at 530-754-HELP (4357).

And if you know anyone who hasn't taken the UC-mandated cybersecurity awareness training yet, remind them to take it (visit the UC Learning Center and search for "cybersecurity"). The knowledge you gain will make it easier to fry the phish.