January 27, 2020

Faculty, staff urged to be alert to tax-related email scams

With tax season approaching, the Office of Information Technology-Security (OIT) has received numerous complaints regarding email scams regarding tax information. Faculty, staff and students should be alert and cautious. 

Scammers and hackers are persistent, resourceful, and clever. In the first few months of the year, cybercriminals know that email recipients are particularly vulnerable to email concerning tax information or claiming there are tax issues.  This “bait” is intended to lure recipients to render a payment, click a link, or provide personal information to be used in identity theft or other criminal activity.

Again, be very cautious.

Typically, scam email is often identified by several of red flags. 

The email:

  • is unexpected and from an unknown source
  • lacks an SIU email address
  • contains the red WARNING statement that marks all email coming from outside the campus
  • contains poorly written content
  • includes an offer that is too good to be true or a threat
  • requests the recipient to click a link or provide personal information 

It is important that everyone follow these three words of advice before reacting to a suspicious email:

  •  Think.
  •  Evaluate.
  •  Delete.

If deleting an email without replying makes you feel uneasy, send the email to and ask any questions at scam@siu.edu. If you do click a questionable link, contact OIT Security scam@siu.edu.