Skip to content
Watch for e-mail scams at the beginning of the semester

We have seen several examples of what I can best describe as targeted and more aggressive e-mail scams to a number of TLU people recently. There have been enough reports that I felt it was time for a reminder to keep everyone vigilant as we begin finish the summer term and start the fall semester.


The scams (examples listed below) have either been related to a) blackmail, b) trying to get you to open or download a file (likely infected with malware) or c) a spoofed email from someone you know asking you to facilitate some financial transaction. The example below asked that you get some gift cards and send pictures of the serial numbers to an email address. Definitely a scam!


There are always several that come in asking for you to “confirm” your TLU username or password in order to keep your account or e-mail box. Remember that TLU IT will never ask you for your password over e-mail or by clicking any link or to renew or activate anything via an email link. We will also sign our names.


What to do:


  • If you get an obvious scam the easiest thing to do is delete it.
  • If you get a blackmail e-mail – do not reply. Delete it or send to if you are concerned. We will report the abuse to the domain site and if need be contact law enforcement.
  • If you get an e-mail from someone you know that seems out of character, question it. Rather than reply (since that will go to the scammer), send a new message to the person asking them if it was legitimate.
  • If you get an email from what looks like FedEx, UPS, DocuSign, or any vendor asking for you to click on something that you were not expecting, don’t. If you are not sure, you can route to and we will take a look.


Thanks for staying vigilant and helping keep TLU secure!


Recent examples:


1) Blackmail example


From: Fara Swick <>
Date: July 19, 2018 at 7:29:06 PM CDT

ILets get straight to the point. You may not know me and you're most likely wondering why you're getting this e-mail? Nobody has compensated me to investigate you.

In fact, I actually installed a software on the 18+ videos  web site and there's more, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching videos, your browser started functioning as a Remote Desktop having a key logger which provided me access to your display and webcam. Just after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, and emailaccount. And then I made a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were watching (you've got a fine taste hahah), and 2nd part displays the recording of your web camera, yea it is you.

You actually have only 2 options. We will read each of these solutions in aspects:

Very first alternative is to neglect this email message. Consequently, I will send out your actual videotape to each of your your contacts and also imagine regarding the embarrassment that you receive. And definitely if you are in a romance, how it can affect?

Latter alternative would be to compensate me 3000 USD. Let us name it as a donation. As a result, I will straight away eliminate your video footage. You could carry on with everyday life like this never occurred and you would never hear back again from me.

You will make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search "how to buy bitcoin" in Google search engine).

If you have been thinking of going to the law, very well, this email cannot be traced back to me. I have dealt with my moves. I am also not looking to ask you for money very much, I would like to be paid. You now have one day in order to pay. I have a unique pixel within this mail, and now I know that you have read this e mail. If I don't get the BitCoins, I will definitely send out your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, and many others. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I will erase the video immidiately. If you want to have evidence, reply with Yea & I definitely will send out your video recording to your 15 contacts. It is a non-negotiable offer, therefore please do not waste my personal time and yours by responding to this mail.



2) Targeted scam (From address spoofed )


Good Goodmorning,

 Are you in the office ? I have an assignment i need you to do for me. I am in a meeting so i won't be able to pick a call.


If you respond then you get this….


I'm in a meeting and i will not be able to talk to you on phone. I will need you to run an errand for me at the store, this is really urgent and important. Do let me know if you can?





3) Fake electronic document signature


From: DocuSign []
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2018 11:29 AM
Subject: ADP sent you a new document to sign






You have received a secure document to review and sign.






Date: 07/19/2018
File type: Microsoft Word
File Encryption: 2048 RSA

Thank you,





Back to main screen