Help! I responded to a Phishing or Scam Email or Text Message

Tags phishing scam


The College has a variety of resources to help protect the community from phishing and attempts to steal your information.  However, sometimes these messages still get through, and often look legitimate enough to click on the link and maybe even fill out the information.  In addition, the efforts of nefarious actors on the internet have branched out to voice calls and text messaging.

If you have received a Phishing/Scam email and simply deleted it, you are OK - but if you clicked on the link and maybe even given out some personal information, here is some helpful information on what to do.

If you have received a Phishing/Scam text message, there are additional steps you can take.

What to do!

  1. If you moved the message to your Junk Mail and deleted it, there's nothing more to do!  You are safe!
  2. If you clicked on a link that actually took you to a website (most of the time these links are blocked by our system even if the email makes it to you).  You should reset your FalconNet password via FalconLink.  Click here for instructions.
  3. If you filled out information on a web page or replied to the email with personal information, you may need to do more than resetting your FalconNet password. 
    Here are some tips:
    - Make sure you are enrolled in MultiFactor Authentication at all financial institutions (they should all support this) and anywhere else that might have your personal information.  This will prevent almost any unauthorized access to your accounts, even if they have your address, phone number, or other identifiable information.
    - If you gave out information such as your address, phone number, or something else that can be used as a secondary method of identification, you should go to all of your financial institutions and reset your password.  You may also want to contact them to let them know that you have been exposed to a scam.  The financial institution may have a program or something else they can offer to protect your account(s).
    - Contact the major credit bureaus.  You can either monitor your credit through a service such as Credit Karma, or put a freeze on your credit.  This means that when someone tries to open an account, the credit bureau declines it and/or notifies you for approval. 

    Here is the contact information for the major credit bureaus:

    Security Freeze Website
    By phone: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)
    By mail:
    Experian Security Freeze
    P.O. Box 9554
    Allen, TX 75013

    Security Freeze WebsiteEquifax
    By phone: 800-685-1111 (automated service line)
    888-298-0045 (customer care agents)
    By mail:
    Equifax Security Freeze
    P.O. Box 105788
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

    Online: TransUnion Credit Freeze Website
    By phone: 1-888-909-8872
    By mail:
    TransUnion LLC
    P.O. Box 2000
    Chester, PA 19016
  4.  If your Social Security Number was exposed, there are a couple of steps you should follow:
    ​​​​​​​- If you do not already have one, create a My Social Security account at
    - You should file a report directly to the SSA by going to
    - You can also call them directly at 1-800-772-1213.
  5. If the exposure has resulted in a financial account being compromised or another situation that is an issue for you, remember that Phishing/Online Scams are illegal.  You can also take the next step to report it to the Allentown (or your local) police.  Click here for the Pennsylvania State Guide to reporting and responding to online scams.

If you received a Phishing or Scam phone call or text message:

  • Do not respond to texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Report the phone number to your cellular carrier immediately by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (or "SPAM").
  • Think twice before clicking any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
  • If a business sends you a text that you weren't expecting, call them to verify its authenticity using the number on your bill or statement or look up its number online.
  • Remember that government agencies almost never initiate contact by phone or text.
  • File a complaint with the FCC.
  • If you think you're the victim of a texting scam, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency and notify your wireless service provider and financial institutions where you have accounts (see contact information for credit bureaus above).

If you have any additional suggestions for this article, please let the Office of Information Technology know.


Article ID: 134444
Fri 9/24/21 10:02 AM
Tue 11/7/23 9:42 AM