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Impersonation Scams

These types of scams are particularly nasty, since they can look so real. Even worse, they are becoming more numerous as more users fall for them. Therefore, it is doubly important to learn how to recognize these fake emails, and know where to report them.

The identification of these scam emails is similar to that of other types. Look for:

  • bad grammar and typos
  • lack of or improper use of official letterhead and logos
  • missing approval footers
  • broken or badly formatted images
  • empty threats
  • instructions to click a link or verify/reactivate accounts
  • demands for passwords or other sensitive information
  • suspicious links outside of a Drexel or affiliate domain, especially those that go to "Canadian Rabbit Hopping" clubs (these you can see WITHOUT clicking the link by simply hovering your mouse over them).

Legitimate emails can sometimes fall under one or two of these categories: some official emails don't require an approval footer, some emails are sent to ListServ lists that Drexel members own, and sometimes messages simply have typos that proofers missed. It does not, however, hurt to be vigilant.

What you want to look for are emails that commit many, if not all, of these mistakes. If you are ever unsure of the legitimacy of an email, REPORT IT!

This email appears to come from a real Drexel online course tool, Drexel (Blackboard) Learn. Note that "next coming" doesn't make much grammatical sense. This email also wants you to click a link to sign in. Classic scam tactic.

Here's another scam impersonating Blackboard to steal sign-in information. Note the very un-Blackboard-like email address of the sender:

Blackboard Impersonation Scam

This one from Vanguard is, on the surface, particularly tricky. Vanguard is a legitimate entity, one that administers retirement benefits for some employees at Drexel. This scam even included a legitimate link in the footer. However, this scam wants you to click a link to verify your account, and has threatened suspension. Both are red flags. Hovering over the "click here" link shows a domain for "Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club." What? DELETE!


This messaged was "spoofed" or possibly sent from a hacked account. Nothing special about it, except that it is a scam and should be deleted immediately:

Link Scam 11-02-16 

Below is an email dressed as if it came from the College of Medicine, right down to the spoofed email addresses and legitimate-looking link. But hover over (DON'T CLICK!) and you will see the very non-Drexel place it goes:

Payroll Impersonation Email Scam

Blackboard Scam Email
This scam email is impersonating Blackboard and attempting to trick users into signing into their false Drexel Learn site. Note the odd syntax.
Blackboard Scam Email
This scam email informs you that you have new messages in Drexel Learn, in an attempt to get you to click their link and give them your sign-in credentials.
Link Scam Email
This email scam appears to come from another member of the Drexel community. Likely the account was spoofed, or possibly hacked and turned into a spam bot.
Payroll Scam Email
This email scam spoofs the College of Medicine name and address. The PDF link appears legitimate, but hovering over it reveals the non-Drexel, scammy place it goes.
Vanguard Scam Email
This scam email mimics the Vanguard (a retirement savings organization) letterhead. Text seems legitimate, but hover over the link (DON'T CLICK!) and you'll see the very strange site it directs you to.