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Security Alert! New Phishing Scam Targets UMass Amherst Community - Mon., 12/18

December 18, 2017

On December 18, 2017, a new fraudulent phishing message with the subject "Microsoft Office Account Validation Message" began targeting UMass Amherst email users.
The email appears to have been sent by "Microsoft Office 365 <>" and contains a PDF attachment which warns the recipient that "Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the Microsoft outlook account, we have issued this warning message.” The link in the message directs the user to a fraudulent version of the Office 365 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:

A phishing message which asks the recipient to click a link which does not display its address.

The link in the email goes to a fraudulent version of the Office 365 login page:

The link goes to a fake version of the Office 365 login page.