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Security Alert! New Phishing Scam Targets UMass Amherst Community - Fri., 12/08

December 8, 2017

On December 8, 2017, a new fraudulent phishing message with the subject "Re: Important Newsletter for Staff & Faculty" began targeting UMass Amherst email users. 

The email appears to have been sent by “Office Of the Controller,” and notifies the recipient that “The 2017 Year-End Closing Newsletter provides our readers with information that will be helpful throughout the year-end closing process,” and instructs the recipient to "Please view the attached PDF copy online." The attached file contains a link which directs the user to a fraudulent version of the Microsoft Excel login page.

Caution: This email did not come from the University of Massachusetts. It is a phishing scam designed to trick you into providing your NetID password to get access to your personal information and/or UMass information technology services for fraudulent purposes. 

Do not respond to the fraudulent message or click the link! Responding or clicking the link in the message may put your information and the university's information and systems at risk. 

If you have already responded to the message, change your IT Account password in SPIRE immediately. 

For more information about this phishing scam or to learn more about what you can do to protect yourself, see the News section of the UMass Amherst IT website. Please report suspicious messages to

When receiving suspicious messages or messages from unknown senders, we recommend that you:

  • Verify the identity of anyone who requests your personal information. Never provide financial data or other personal information in response to an email or on an untrusted site or form.
  • Report these messages to

Learn more about phishing attacks and how to avoid getting caught: 

Phishing message:

The phishing email message which appears to come from the Office Of the Controller, and instructs the recipient to download a file. The file contains a link to the fraudulent login page shown in the next image.

A fake Excel login page