Bristol University students and staff targeted by phishing campaign


By Molly Pipe, Deputy News Editor

Students and staff who received the email have been instructed to delete it.

Bristol IT Services has issued a warning to students and staff after they were targeted by a phishing campaign.

An email claiming to be from HSBC was sent to university accounts earlier this evening, informing recipients that they were entitled to a tax refund of £545.21.

Readers were then encouraged to click on a link, which is not known to be verified.

Bristol staff and students received an email which fraudulently claimed they were entitled to a tax refund of £545.21

Phishing is a form of cyber attack where emails or websites are used to steal personal information.

They often work by tricking the victim into thinking they stand to gain something, such as money. It is unclear what kind personal information was targeted by this campaign.

IT Services replied in 16 minutes, warning users to be careful.

In their response they said: 'Please do not click on the link. Simply delete the email.  You do not need to inform the IT Service Desk. IT Services are working to stop the messages and will remove them from inboxes.

'The University takes certain measures to reduce the effectiveness of these scams but this is not a guarantee you will not receive them.

'Your awareness of these messages, how to spot them and how to report them is crucial in further reducing their impact to you and the entire University.'

The email used the formatting and link and even included a warning against fraud.

However, when users scrolled down, lines of code were visible, which pointed to the email's fraudulent nature.

HSBC has been informed of the incident.

If you have been affected by this incident, or wish to know more about phishing, visit the university's information page.

Have you been affected by this incident? Let us know.