March 19, 2020

Beware of Coronavirus/COVID-19 scams

The Office of Information Technology wants to remind faculty, staff and students of the need to remain diligent about email and phone scams -- particularly those exploiting fears surrounding the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Scammers are offering what might first appear to be important information about the virus’ spread and how to stay safe from it. Contained within the email or phone content, however, can be misinformation, ransomware, malware, and other harmful content.

A current email circulating around college campuses offers students official updates from what appears to be university personnel. A similar version of this email targets remote workers. But both scams include links to bogus OneDrive or Office365 login screens and upon entering your credentials, criminals capture victims’ login ID and password.

It is important to remember that official SIU Carbondale information comes via email from the Office of the Chancellor at, and is signed John M. Dunn. The university’s official information website is The official CDC website is The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Department of Homeland Security also has valuable information at

While exploring the web, malicious sites are also trying to coax information from users. As with most harmful cyber activity, criminals are trying to steal personal information and passwords, and/or prompt activity that puts you at risk.

Be particularly cautious as you look for information, of sites or apps that offer remedies, virus-tracking, outbreak maps, or genuinely helpful content but ask you to click on links or provide personal data to obtain the information. These sites may be the mechanism that infects your device with malware or locks your device (including phones) with ransomware.

It is important to stay well and stay cybersafe during the coming weeks. If you suspect a scam or need help, contact

Information Technology FAQ

The Office of Information Technology has created a technology FAQ and resource site to provide technology information during these unique times. The site is available at Additionally, SalukiTech is available for help by phone, email, or portal and can be found at The SalukiTech Service Center will be closed for walkup service until university policy on social distancing changes.