If you discover that someone might be impersonating you via text message, use the following guidelines to protect yourself and others. 

What You'll See in a Scam Text

Often these bogus text message requests include a sense of vagueness and urgency. They almost always request the victim to buy gift cards and send them the card information. This is a way for scammers to abscond with untraceable and unrecoverable money.

Inform Other Potential Targets

The UCSB cybersecurity team strongly recommends notifying all students, staff, or faculty that may be affected, alerting them to the scam. Advise them to pre-emptively block the number, but remember that numbers can be easily spoofed and changed. Advise your students, colleagues, or both that you would never ask them for personal monetary favors or personal information and definitely not via text or email. Please also provide a phone number so anyone unsure can verify a message they received purporting to be from you.

If you have any public listings of contact information for your students or colleagues, we strongly recommend removing them.

Report the Incident

To report instances of text message impersonation, contact security@ucsb.edu. Provide as much information as possible, including screenshots, the phone number from which the impersonation is coming, and a list of anyone who responded to the messages.