It seems that the desperate scammers have been really working hard devising different schemes trying to steal people’s identities.A few days ago, I received an email claiming that it was from UWalumni. It was titled: "Verify Your Uwalumni Webmail Account". As an alumni from University of Wisconsin – Madison, I do once a while get emails from them. But after reading it, it became quite clear that this was just another scam. The message goes like this:
To complete your Account Verification process, you are to reply this message and enter your password in the space provided (********), you are required to do this before the next 48hrs of receipt of this e-mail, or your Webmail Account will be de-activated and erased from our data base.
You can also verify your Account at https://secure.uwalumni.com/horde/imp/login.php
Thank you for choosing Uwalumni Webmail.
Uwalumni Webmail Team.
The technique used by this scammer was not all that advanced, as any legitimate businesses would NEVER ask user to provide confidential information over unencrypted channel (rarely, some companies still do). I quickly reported this email to UW Alumni. And in a reply email, UW authorities re-affirmed that this was indeed a scam and some users might have already taken the bait.
My advice? Never ever giving out personal information to anyone (even if the other party is trusted) over email. A phone call could easily save the trouble of becoming an ID theft victim.