NEWS: Email Phishing Scams Potentially Directed at Patrons

Informational – e-mail phishing scams potentially directed at patrons

Apparently some patrons may have received an e-mail from scammers indicating that the patron owes money for an overdue book. And therefore trying to solicit money from those patrons.

We have included two example files in this message – one is the example of a scamming attempt and one is a sample of an official overdue notice generated and sent from PrairieCat.

In the interest of keeping this message to the point I am not going to go into details about ALL of the potential differences of the two files. Both files have notes indicating things to look out for but in a nut shell here are the differences to look for (and potentially inform your patrons about) …..

Biggest difference: #3 – PrairieCat notices do not direct patrons to a link to pay any files. This is a standard phishing ruse and no one should click on a link in an e-mail as it is very easy to make that link look ‘official’ when it is not.

Other differences: PrairieCat has the library’s as well as the patron’s info in our database so ….. in the official PrairieCat notice you will notice that the library’s as well as the patron’s full address information is in the communication (since it came from PrairieCat) – in the scam file the message is a generic e-mail message sent to the patron’s e-mail address (which is  very easy to get) and the library information is very generic (not specific as it would be if the notification came from PrairieCat).

We hope this helps clarify things if you get any questions about this type of communication – we make every attempt to have the PrairieCat ILS environment secured but some of this type of activity there are really no steps that can be taken to not have this type of phishing (probing) occur.

Please report these types of phishing attempts so we remain aware and we will continue our efforts to make sure that the PrairieCat ILS system is secured in any ways that we can.