Tax season is upon us. February, March and April serve as the prime time for tax scammers to act as the IRS or other reputable institutions to attempt to steal your sensitive data.
The Associated Press reports that in the past five years there has been a 400 percent rise in tax scams. Since 2013, the IRS has seen over 5,000 victims pay over $26.5 million as a result of a scam.
Tax scams can originate over the phone or email. Scammers use technology to disguise a call using your local area code, so it’s not just 1-800 numbers anymore. Hackers may use urgent or threatening language such as “late payment” or “everything under your name will be seized unless you pay.”
If you receive a call like this, hang up. Do not trust the caller ID. If you have questions about a call, and believe that it might be real, call the IRS directly to confirm. Hackers communicate via email, but the IRS does not. The IRS only sends postal mail. Hackers regularly pose as the IRS or DocuSign to attempt to get users to click on a link in an email to provide sensitive data. Do not ever submit personal information via email, and if you do receive an email like this, delete it.
If you do provide sensitive information over the phone or through email, please contact your local authorities. The IRS works aggressively to prevent and detect tax-related identity theft. Visit irs.gov for more information. OIT also warns UA employees of known phishing attempts. Always check oit.ua.edu/news for updates and phishing attempt alerts.
The Office of Information Technology will install the quarterly Oracle patch on Sunday, March 25, 2018, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. The following services will be unavailable during the installation period: Appworx, BITPRD, Banner, CEME, CENSUS, Crystal Report Server, Degree Works, myBama, OIRA, PCR and SiteFile. For questions or concerns, contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or email@example.com.
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, many UA employees received a phishing email with the subject title “UA” “Help Desk” “IT Help Desk” or “IT”
These emails are phishing attempts designed to steal credentials such as myBama usernames or passwords. If you haven’t already, please delete the email. Additionally, if you are not a DUO user, please activate your DUO account at duo.ua.edu.
If you did receive this email, and you did provide any sensitive information, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a screenshot of the email.
The Faculty Resource Center will host its annual Faculty Technology Showcase Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in Gordon Palmer A232. The event will be from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Over 25 faculty members will present innovative technologies being used on campus at UA. All faculty members and graduate students are welcome to attend. Learn more and see the complete schedule of presentations at frc.ua.edu.
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, many UA students received a phishing email with the subject title “STUDENT PART-TIME WORK”
This is a phishing attempt designed to obtain sensitive financial data by attracting students with the prospect of a part time job. If you haven’t already, please delete the email.
If you did receive this email, and you did provide any sensitive information, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or email@example.com. Below is a screenshot of the phishing email.
OIT will be performing necessary updates to the virtual private network Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. VPN services will resume by 6:30 a.m. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OIT will conduct necessary data center maintenance Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 from 4:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and again Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 from 4:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. This maintenance will require that OIT take databases and applications offline during the two six-hour maintenance windows. This includes applications such as myBama, Banner, DegreeWorks, and OnBase. Blackboard will remain available. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or email@example.com.
The Office of Information Technology will be implementing a Banner Bundle upgrade on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2017 from 5:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. myBama will be available during the upgrade, but channels that connect to Banner will not be accessible, including self-service and administrative systems. For questions or concerns, contact the IT Service Desk at 205-348-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginning April 1, 2018, DUO will no longer provide support for DUO mobile applications iOS 9 and Android 5. Both of these older OS versions are officially unsupported by Apple and Google. Devices using these older app versions will still continue to function, DUO will just no longer provide customer support for them. OIT encourages users to always update your app and OS to the newest available version to ensure you have the most secure and reliable version available.