cell phone in hands

We would like to bring to your attention a recent trend in fraudulent text messages that have been reported within the school district. Unfortunately, some of our administrative staff have been targeted by individuals who are sending fake text messages pretending to be them (spoofing). There may be other faculty and staff being spoofed in the future as well as the current instance and we wanted to make you aware of a few things.

Fake text messages from "spoofers" may contain requests for sensitive information, such as personal data or passwords. They may also contain links or attachments that could potentially harm your device and/or compromise your privacy. The messages we've seen so far have identified themselves as Eric Hartz, NCSD Superintendent. The individual requests you to buy some gift cards and send them the numbers. This is a fairly common scam.  We want to emphasize that our administrative staff, our teachers, and staff, will never ask for your sensitive information via text message. If you receive a text message that seems suspicious, please do not hesitate to take the following actions: Do not click on any links or download any attachments in the message. Do not reply to the message or provide any personal information. Block the number from which the message was sent.

Blocking a number is a straightforward process that can be done in a few easy steps: For iPhones Open the Messages app Find the message from the unknown number Tap on the (i) icon in the top right corner of the message Tap on the phone number or contact name Tap on "Block this Caller"

For Android phones Open the Messages app Find the message from the unknown number Long press on the message Tap on "Block number" or "Add to spam numbers" Please note that if you are unsure if a message is legitimate or not, you can always reach out to the sender using an alternative method, such as email or phone call, to verify the message's authenticity. We appreciate your cooperation and vigilance in helping us maintain the security of our school district and learning community. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Spoofing definition: Spoofing is a broad term for the type of behavior that involves a cybercriminal masquerading as a trusted entity or device to get you to do something beneficial to the hacker — and detrimental to you. Any time an online scammer disguises their identity as something else, it's spoofing.

The spoofed message from today, 4/20,  may look like this: