University of Saskatchewan Protective Services notified the Sheaf on Sept. 30 of a website scam using U of S information.
The website is currently the subject of a cooperative investigation between Protective Services and Information and Communications Technology Security. The investigation is not considered to be criminal at this point.
The persons behind the website falsely impersonated someone from the U of S in an effort to attempt to fraudulently gain services and information from the university community and its business partners.
It is not currently known who is behind the website.
According to ICT Security Director Lawrence Dobranski, the website was “a modern version of an old scam.” In the past, crooks would impersonate others using business cards or official letterheads. But as the internet has grown in prevalence, these scams have become more complex.
Dobranski has never seen anything like this in his year and half with ICT Security.
“These guys are very good,” Dobranski said. “People want to be trusting. So when they get a phone call from someone they want to do business with, they go out of their way to try to win their business. Unfortunately, in this case we had someone impersonating someone.”
Dobranski could not say who from the U of S the website was impersonating or if any of their attempts at defrauding the university’s partners were successful.
The website was reported to ICT by a member of the university community.
Explicit details of the scam are not available because the investigation is still ongoing.
Though there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the scamming incident, Dobranski said there are lessons the campus community can take away from it.
“It all comes down to risk management,” Dobranski said. “It’s deciding what you want to have online and what you don’t and understanding that there could be ramifications.”
Dobranski encouraged the campus community to remain vigilant of similar circumstances. Students or faculty who notice anything out of the ordinary can contact ICT Security at email@example.com or Protective Services at 306-966-5555.