Person chasing after a dollar sign-shaped phishing hook

Buyer beware: email from financial consultant lead-generation service

You might have received an email with the following content:

Text of questionable email that begins with: "Annual Review: Each year, you are elegible to receive a one-on-one consultation for answers to your specific ... retirement benefit questions."

While this isn’t a phishing attempt or outright fraud as such, it’s at best a hidden—and therefore misleading—marketing attempt we want you to be aware of. This email comes from a lead-generation service for financial consultants throughout the US. The senders of the email have nothing to do with consultations to answer your retirement benefit questions. They’re merely selling the contact information of those who click.

If you have questions about retirement benefits, we recommend you ignore the email shown above and instead consult with UW Human Resources Benefits professionals. These folks are highly knowledgeable and super helpful. You can begin that process on the Benefits web page.

If you are ever unsure whether an email message is legitimate, or what you should do with it, do not respond to it! Instead, contact the DoIT Help Desk (Source kb: for advice.

—UW–Madison Office of Cybersecurity