Phone and Phishing Scams

Posted February 13, 2014

Windows Phone Scam

An old scam has resurfaced and it's important that we draw your attention to it again. Many people are reporting getting calls from people who identify themselves as a technical support person calling from the "Windows Corporation", "Windows technical support", or even "Microsoft Windows".  They tell you that your Windows computer is sending messages to their server and that it must be infected with many viruses.  Microsoft or Windows will not call you about your computer.  You should just hang up.

The person calling has a distinctive Indian accent and they speak to you in a very professional tone.  If you stay on the phone with them, you'll also notice that they are very patient with you as they walk you through things on your computer. They sound like they genuinely want to help you. They will direct you to look at your Event Viewer. The Windows Event Viewer logs all the errors on your computer and it normally has at least a few errors. They tell you these errors are bad and use this "evidence" to convince you that your computer is infected. Next, they will direct you to a web site where they will try to get you to enter your credit card information to pay them so they can help you. They might even get you to download some software so that they can access your computer. Unfortunately, it is the seniors and the non-technically saavy people who are falling for this scam so please warn your friends and family members.

Phishing Scams

Phishing emails are fraudulent emails that request you to update your username and password information, or banking information but it is actually sent to a location unrelated to Western, your bank, or whatever otherwise legitimate company they claim to be.  Here are some tips to recognize a phishing email:

  • ITS flags many messages with [SPAM?] in the subject. This should be considered as potential SPAM and approached with care. If there is a request for username/password or banking information within the message, it is most likely a phishing email.
  • Western or your bank will never ask you to update your password via email.
  • Official emails from Western will always come from an "" address.
  • Phishing emails often come from official looking emails that may say "Webmail Administrator" or "UWO Webmail" but the email address associated with it is not an "" email.
  • If there is a link in the text of the email and you hover your mouse over the link, the actual destination URL will be displayed. If it is different than the one in the text of the message, then it is a phishing email. If the URL is not a "" URL, it should be considered suspicious.

If you think you have a Phishing email claiming to be from Western or ITS that should be reported, you can follow the instructions on the ITS Official Email Activity site to send the message with full headers to If you think you've been phished, you should change your password right away and contact the ITS Help Desk (ext. 83800).  For password help, go to the Western Identity Management page.