FAQ - Is it a Virus, Hoax, Scam, or Phishing?


How do I know if this email message is a virus, hoax, phishing or a scam?


It is wise to investigate whether or not a suspected message is a true virus warning or a hoax, before deleting any files.

For example, many hoaxes like the sulfnbk.exe warning currently making the rounds at ISU is a hoax and if you follow the instructions, you will delete a necessary windows file.

To check out if you have a virus, hoax, are being phished, or, to see if someone sent you a scam like the various Nigerian 411 scams flooding ISU, investigate these sites:

  • True or False? -
    Email rumors and scare messages. Urban Legends - http://www.snopes.com

  • Is it a virus? -
    Viruses McAfee - http://www.mcafee.com

  • Is it a Scam? -
    ScamBusters.org - http://www.scambusters.org/legends.html

  • Report and/or find Phishing Information -
    Anti-Phishing Working Group - http://www.antiphishing.org

  • Stop. Think. Click. -
    Federal Trade Commission site - http://OnGuardOnLine.gov/index.html

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    Category: Viruses and Security     Platform: Not Applicable
    Document #: 41     Author: Cynthia Senicka    
    Last Modified by: Joshua Moor on 06/12/2008