On 29 January, PDBY was notified of a scam that involved a false email address (up.dataqueries@gmail.com) seemingly affiliated with the University of Pretoria (UP), asking students for their portal login details, student number and service provider.

California Mokoena, a student at the faculty of education, stated that she was in the process of applying for data to write a SACE quiz and that she saw the email address on a UP group. The individual behind the email address asked for her “student number, password, contact and network provider and after 3 hours I was logged off my email and told I did a password reset of which I did not do”. Chairperson of House Education, Jameo Calvert, escalated the student’s concern to the IT Helpdesk. Calvert has confirmed that at this stage “roughly 23 of [House Education’s] constituency came forth as affected”.

Students are reminded to avoid sharing their student details and passwords. Students who have encountered similar experiences are encouraged to immediately change their portal passwords and report the incident to the IT help desk at Jaco.roos@up.ac.za and cc their relevant Faculty House Chairperson.

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Susanna is currently stu(dying) genetics and joined the PDBY team in 2019. She divides her time between writing and playing with plant disease samples. Her contributions span across Science, politics and all things spicy. If you are or were in the SRC, she’s probably spammed you with messages for a story. She’s got a memory like an elephant – so she probably keeps track of student promises. Picture not to scale.