Nearly 3,200 ASU students received phishing emails from a non-University email address that attempted to gain students' personal information using the distribution of money from the CARES Act as bait, a University spokesperson confirmed.
“The university is aware students have received a phishing email soliciting their personal information in reference to the CARES Act,” the University spokesperson said in an email. “This email is not from ASU’s Financial Aid and Scholarship office, and we are looking into the matter. Students should not take any action; We are notifying all impacted students.”
The subject line of the email claimed that students' financial aid was on hold. The body of the email said students needed to send documents through a link so that students could receive their disbursement from the University provided by the coronavirus relief bill.
The link in the email was written as "https://asu.verifymyfafsa.com/" a real ASU website, but when clicked on, it sent the user to a malicious site that featured “eduardologas” within the link.
Phishing scams are emails that are designed to look real and “trick the unsuspecting user into giving out their personal information, including usernames and passwords, and allowing the perpetrator to conduct identity theft,” according to the ASU GetProtected website.
The spokesperson added that students with concerns about their financial aid should reach out to the University directly.
Last week, The Daily Wildcat reported a similar phishing scheme sent out to UA students about distribution of the CARES Act funds.
The CARES Act has been a frequent topic of discussion by students since it was announced ASU would receive the largest amount in the country at $63.5 million from the Department of Education.
Half of that total must go to students, which the University has announced they will be distributing this summer, though “an exact timeline” has not been determined, University spokesperson Katie Paquet told The State Press in late May.
“ASU has a large student population with varying needs,” the ASU Novel Coronavirus FAQ page said. “When ASU has finalized the mechanism for the distribution of the funds, the university will report back to the U.S. Department of Education, the CARES Act funds will be released to ASU by the federal government, and the CARES Act funds in turn will be distributed to students.”
Wyatt Myskow is the project manager at The State Press, where he oversees enterprise stories for the publication. He also works at The Arizona Republic, where he covers the cities of Peoria and Surprise.