May 22, 2024

COVID-19 Phishing Awareness Alert

To the campus community:

As we continue to address the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the Information Security Office is alerting the UMW community to beware of phishing campaigns that exploit COVID-19 concerns. Scammers often take advantage of health scares to distribute phishing scams. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spawn dozens of such campaigns, scaring recipients into clicking on malicious links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media posts.

Don’t let the pandemic lower your guard. Phishing emails will still persist, even if the theme changes. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Fabricated notices from health organizations (e.g., the CDC or local/state health departments)
  • Fake updates from an employer about policies or procedures to address the risk
  • Phony websites containing maps and dashboards
  • Information about protecting yourself, your children or your community that contain malicious links or attachments
  • Charitable appeals to help victims of the virus, which generally are not legitimate
  • Fake links to Zoom meetings

If an offer seems too good to be true or an email seems suspicious, feel free to forward the email to  IT Security will take a look at it for you.

Be safe.

Mike Townes
Director of Information Technology Security/ISO
University of Mary Washington


  1. Thank you for the very important and relevant information for today. These are crazy, unprecedented times that we live in. All patience and health!