Posted: December 11, 2017

…Every Who down in Whoville liked email and credit cards a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north did NOT! Or, at least, he liked using YOUR credit cards and accounts more than his own. (with deepest apologies to Dr. Seuss)

You are familiar with the story of the Grinch trying to ruin Christmas by stealing presents and decorations. In real-life there is a different Grinch anxious to ruin your holidays by stealing your personal information.

At this time of year there is always an uptick in spam messages attempting to trick you out of sensitive personal information - these attempts are referred to as phishing. These people know that you are busy, stressed, anxious and hurried, and they send emails hoping to catch you at a weak moment, and with a scenario that may trigger an even more emotional response. You might see messages warning of things such as…your gift delivery requires confirmation of your credit card…your email account will be deleted unless you log in to renew…your debit card will be cancelled unless you verify your PIN immediately…over and over and over again.

Be cautious. Be deliberate. Call us! Before clicking to save the day in a rush, make sure that what you are about to do is with a legitimate entity. Penn State and credit/debit card companies are reacting more quickly than ever before when they detect a compromise - quickly shutting off services to protect you and themselves. This is great for protection, but can result in cancelled credit and debit cards just when you need them the most, and disabled computer and email accounts just as you are trying to enter end of the year attendance, or financials, or grades, etc.

Before falling victim to these phishing schemes, feel free to contact us at or by phone to 814-865-1229….or check Penn State's phishing scam page -

Information Technologies


401 Ag Administration Building
State College, PA 16802