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Sunday, 18 August 2013 20:22

KU professor involved in email phishing scam, how to avoid getting hacked

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Cyber thieves tricked email contacts of Randall Jelks, an Associate Professor of American Studies at KU, in to believing he was out of the country and needed money as soon as possible.

"My phone kept ringing and I was like I'm at breakfast what's the deal, and so I had to immediately go to my computer and try to find out how I got scammed and so forth," Jelks said.

The email sent out to over a 1,000 contacts in Jelks email list said that he was in the Philippines for a tour, but had misplaced his wallet with all of his valuables and would need a short term loan of 2,800 dollars to help get back home.

"I chuckled because this scam was particularly well because it somehow stole my signatures at the bottom of it, and that made people think well it really is him, but it was so poorly written that I thought c'mon guys give me a little bit better credit than that," said Jelks.

David Greenbaum, owner of Doctor Dave Computer Repair, was also a victim of a phishing scam 5 years ago and says while the cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated, not setting your password as something easy like1,2,3,4 is a simple prevention strategy that can be taken.

"The second way is by not using the same password at a variety of websites, so if you use your email at one website that gets hacked, then they know that you're probably going to use that same email address and password at other sites," Owner of Doctor Dave Computer Repair David Greenbaum said.

But even if you do everything to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a phishing scam there are steps that are necessary to take the instant you realize it.

"Change your password immediately, make sure that if you have virus protection on your computer it's up to date, and ultimately just accept that these things sometimes just happen," said Greenbaum.

There are ways to file a complaint with the FBI if you are a victim, or receive a phishing scam email, if you would like more information on how to report the email click here.