A series of suspicious messages were sent to students, asking for sensitive information.
By Cassandra Nava, Editor-in-Chief
Students of the Los Angeles Community College District were recently targeted with fraudulent emails in an attempt to obtain personal information.
Last Tuesday, students were sent an email claiming they have “exceeded their limit” in storage space, and will subsequently stop receiving incoming messages. To continue utilizing their email, students were solicited to fill out a form which required the password associated with their LACCD portal. The district responded by sending out a mass email to students a couple of hours later, stating that the request for personal information was in fact counterfeit.
“This is a reminder that an email is frequently fraudulent if it says something bad will happen if you don’t go to a website right away and provide your email address and password,” stated the LACCD message.
On Sunday, students were sent another phishing email offering a remote “VA position” that would pay weekly. To get more information on the “position,” students were asked to text a phone number with their name and alternate email address. The district has yet to send an updated warning.
While the district has seen its fair share of false emails, the recent messages could have been mistaken as legitimate due to the return address. In order to access their college portal, LACCD students are given a unique username of their last and first name followed by a series of numbers, and a domain name of student.laccd.edu. Both individuals who sent the messages had a sender address mirroring the pattern of a student’s email — and topped it off with the official LACCD banner and logo attached.
“It’s not something new,” said William Boyer, director of communications and external relations at LACCD. “It’s not the first time. It’s not going to be the last time. These types of things happen all the time and it's not unique to LACCD.”
In an effort to curb cyber security risks, the California Community College system asked for $100 million in their 2022-2023 budget request to modernize CCCApply, their online admission application. The CCC implies that strengthening their application system will deter individuals from creating false accounts. The request cited findings from Edscoop, which stated that globally, nearly half of all education institutions were targeted by individuals hoping to lure students into ransomware traps.
As online enrollment continues to rise along with additional COVID-19 relief funds in student’s accounts, the college system is still in the process of protecting student’s data.
Students who have received a suspicious email should notify the LACCD immediately.