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Campus alerted to phishing scams



The NDSU Information Technology Division is launching an anti-phishing program to alert the campus to scam attempts. The program is in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 

According to Theresa Semmens, chief information security officer, more than 290 students, faculty and staff members have been hooked by email phishing scams since the beginning of the semester, and the number continues to grow.

Phishing emails often appear to be from legitimate sources, including email addresses. The scammers try to entice people to open malicious attachments or click on links to fraudulent websites used to collect sensitive information like usernames and passwords. 

“We gathered resources to help identify various types of phishing scams, recognize common bait tactics used in these scams and provide information on options that can be used to protect accounts and personal information,” Semmens said.

“Starting this month, we will send simulated phishing emails to students, faculty and staff,” she said. “The messages are intended to look like real phishing messages, but they will not cause harm, collect personal information or result in any penalty or punitive action.”

If faculty, students or staff receive a suspicious email, they should not reply, click on any links or open any attachments. They should:

• Forward it directly to, which keeps intact information that may help IT staff identify the source of the scam. Then delete the message; or

• Forward it to the NDSU IT Help Desk,, and ask them to confirm whether or not the suspicious message is a phishing scam. 

If you think you may have responded to a phishing message or clicked on any links within a suspicious message, contact the NDSU IT Help Desk at 701-231-8685 or

NDSU’s anti-phishing program is developed by an interdepartmental working group with representatives from Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Senate, Registration and Records, Institutional Research and Analysis, Agriculture Communication and the Information Technology Division.

For more information on NDSU’s anti-phishing program, contact Semmens at or 701-231-5870.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-1068 - Fax: (701) 231-1989
Campus address: Old Main 204
Mailing address: Dept 6000 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU University Relations