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  • How to avoid getting hooked by phishing scams

    Pima County email accounts have recently been the targets of many email phishing scams. 

    Many of these emails appear to be earnest messages from the County Information Technology Department with inquiries or warnings about your email account. They might claim your inbox is overfull, or that an error with your password requires your attention, or some other ploy to get you click a hyperlink.

    Whatever you do, don’t click it. 

    “IT will never send an email asking you to click a link or verify your credentials,” Information Security Officer Jim McDougall said. 

    (The image below shows a recent phishing email many County employees received.) scam

    If there has been an issue of grave concern with emails the IT department will send an eblast to all County employees notifying of a specific threat. 

    The image to the right shows a recent phishing attempt many County employees received. 

    If you receive a suspicious-looking email, send it to IT by clicking the “Report Spam” in the toolbar of your Outlook account or forward it to 

    Below are a few indicators an e-mail is a phishing email: 
    • Name and e-mail address don’t match (email from John Smith with an email address of
    • Attempt to prove legitimacy using words such as “Official.” 
    • Uses a real organization or company name but incorrect website address (Microsoft account termination notice with a website address of
    • Poor grammar (You’re billing information is been flagged for…….) 
    • Unsolicited requests for personal information are a clear danger signal (Some critical information is missing from your recent credit card application – when you didn’t actually apply for a credit card).
    • Misspellings (Do to a recent accounting err we are asking you two update your personal information…)
    How can I avoid phishing scams? 
    • Never send passwords, bank account numbers, or other private information in an email. 
    • Avoid clicking links in emails, especially any that are requesting private information. 
    • Be wary of any unexpected email attachments or links, even from people you know. 
    • Look for “https://” and a lock icon in the address bar before entering any private information. 
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