March 17, 2020 — COVID-19 Phishing Awareness Alert

Good Morning,

There have been reported cases of phishing and fraud at Bowdoin and other institutions, aimed at taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Cyber criminals are always looking for new opportunities and we must be vigilant to prevent them from taking advantage of the situation we find ourselves in.

Taking Action

  • Stay Alert
    • Be critical of unsolicited or unexpected email messages or communications, especially messages that instill a sense of fear or urgency.
  • Clicking with Caution
    • If you receive any unsolicited or suspicious messages and you are unsure about whether they are legit, report the email to the service desk.
  • Verify Information
    • Current information regarding COVID-19 can be found on the Bowdoin website ( If you are unsure of whether or not a message is legitimate, do not follow any links or download attachments, check the Bowdoin website.

Additional Information

What is phishing?
Phishing is an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This includes email, telephone or text messages.

What can I do to prevent falling for a phishing attack?
Taking the actions above are key. Be vigilant when evaluating any digital communications in the near term and always verify the information from the source.

What action do I take if I know it is phishing?
Delete it. These emails are generated by the same computers who bring spam to your inbox on a daily basis. Reporting them does very little good. Never click on a link in a fraudulent email or message—it may make matters worse by introducing viruses to your computer.


Eric Berube, MBA, MSIS, CISSP
Information Security Officer