Email Scams and Hoaxes

The Internet is riddled with e-mail and phishing scams, hoaxes, fake Web sites, spam and a sundry of schemes that hackers and identity thieves conjure up to spread mayhem across the Internet or to trick people into revealing bank account and credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information.

Chain letters, email, phishing scams and hoaxes clog the network, clutter mailboxes and waste University computing resources. Some contain malware and viruses that can compromise personal computers (including Macs) and the SMU network. Compromised machines found on the Samuel Merritt University Network will ALWAYS require a complete rebuild.


  • Always be wary of unsolicited e-mail, even if you think you recognize the sender. E-mail addresses are often "spoofed" by spammers and hackers.
  • Never open attachments that are connected to these e-mail hoaxes.
  • Never click on the embedded Web links in these e-mail hoaxes.
  • Never redistribute e-mail chain letters and other hoaxes across the University network.
  • Delete the e-mail.
  • When in doubt, e-mail the Network Services Team at or call the ITS help desk at 510-907-2555.

Web sites that can help you identify an e-mail hoax or phishing scam.


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