Phishing scam targets UC Davis email users

If you receive an email from "help@ucdavis.edu" that claims your UC Davis email account is about to get deleted because of "congestions," don't believe it. It's a phishing scam.

IT Express, the campus computing services help desk, warned campus technologists about the scheme in an advisory Thursday afternoon. The messages are targeting UC Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center. The subject line says "Webmail (ucdavis.edu) E-mail User," although there might be other subject lines as well.

"The message claims that the recipient's account is going to be deleted because 'we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of ucdavis.edu accounts...,' " the IT Express advisory says.

"Though the message is not as sophisticated as some (the grammar is poor, and it asks the recipient to send 'User name, password, date of birth and your country information' in email), the threat of account cancellation could be sufficient to cause some users to think that they should comply."

"Please notify your users that this scheme is in circulation," the IT Express advisory concludes, "and remind them that no legitimate entity will request that they send such information in email."

Other colleges and universities have received variations of the scam, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported Friday.

"Our help desk never asks for passwords. Ever," said Mark Stinson, client services manager for Information and Educational Technology at UC Davis. "We never ask for personal information in an email message. If in doubt, call us."