wjxt logo

Would you have spotted this official-looking phishing email?

Training raises red flags on 'sexual harassment prevention' email

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We've all seen the scam emails that try to get us to click fake links that seem safe -- but then lock up our computers with a virus or malware.

Most of us have been trained (thank you IT team) not to fall for these tricks.

That training came in handy Wednesday when I spotted an email warning me I had just 24 hours to update my sexual harassment prevention training. It included a link to the training, inviting me to click so I could get it done ASAP.

Red flag No.1: My sexual harassment prevention training isn't out of date.

Red flag No. 2: The email had come from someone with the city of Gainesville.

“Whoops!” I thought, “They must have sent this to the wrong email list.”

So I decided to call to let them know. Using the name listed in the email address, I looked up the number for the city employee who'd sent the email.

Red flag No. 3: The employee the email appeared to be from was the city's architect.

“Why would the city architect be sending out sexual harassment prevention training emails?”

The “phishy” smell was pretty strong at this point.

So needless to say I wasn't too surprised when I got the architect on the phone and she told me it was a virus -- apparently a widespread one.

She said it even went to the President of the United States.

Let's hope the White House cybersecurity training is as good as it is here at News4Jax. 😉

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.