December 15, 2016

Reminders for avoiding email tax scams

The Office of Information Technology and the Department of Human Resources want faculty and staff to be aware of the potential for email tax scams.

As tax season approaches, you may start receiving emails that claim to be from SIU Carbondale HR, the state of Illinois, your department, or even the Internal Revenue Service. Be very skeptical when receiving this type of email correspondence — and equally cautious in dealing with it. The university, the state of Illinois, and the IRS will never send an email requesting personal information.

Do not respond if you receive an email asking for your legal name, Social Security number, financial account information, or other personal information. Do not provide the information, do not click on any link in the email, and do not reply by telephone using a phone number in the email. The email may sound urgent or threatening – but ignore the request and delete the email. If you are truly concerned, note the person or organization, locate contact information from a reliable source, and email or call directly.

Typical red flags for scam email include:

  • it is an unexpected email
  • you don’t recognize the sender or the sender’s address looks suspicious
  • the email urges a quick response or action
  • you are not addressed by name
  • the email contains no contact information
  • the email contains typographical errors or oddly worded sentences
  • the email asks you to click on a link or copy and paste an address into the address bar.

To keep the campus community informed, OIT Security maintains a list of known scams. The list may not be a complete list of all circulating email scams. If in doubt, send questionable emails to OIT Security.

For questions that pertain to university employment, payroll issues or W-2 forms, contact the Human Resource payroll office at 536-3369, visit the website, or access the HR self-service (HRSS) system.