Beware of a Social engineering attempt to Targeting PSU Employees
Posted by Jo-Ann Guilmett on 12 July 2018 07:39 AM

Several PSU employees have reported receiving an email claiming to be from a member of the PSU Senior leadership team via a gmail account.  The tone of the messages is persuasive and overly assertive; in which the sender asks the PSU employee to undertake an urgent errand on their behalf.

These messages are a social engineering attempt to prey upon PSU employees.  Be vigilant! 

Email communication is particularly vulnerable to this type of scam.  Unfortunately, there is not a technical solution to this type of scam – we will always lose in a social engineering situation, because scams of this type rely on human nature in order to be successful.    The scammer only needs one or two eager employees who are willing to front the cash or use their credit cards to purchase a couple gift cards, and then send the scammer the codes off the back of the cards via email.  Then the scammer gets away with hundreds of dollars.   

It is best to step back and consider these types of requests.  Ask yourself:

  1. Is it normal for that particular senior leader to ask me to do this type favor?  
  2. Wouldn’t that senior leader ask one of his/her administrative staff to undertake this sort of errand?
  3. When in doubt, pick up the phone and call the person, or their Administrative Assistant at their campus extension.
  4. If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of am email, please do not hesitate the call the helpdesk!

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ITS helpdesk at x5-2929 or via email at

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