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Phishing Awareness: UMass Amherst IT Observes Trend of Phishing Messages

February 10, 2020

UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) has received reports of several phishing attempts using similar language and tactics to target members of the campus community.

This trend of phishing emails involves the scammer(s) creating a fake email address that tries to resemble that of faculty and staff on campus (e.g. [faculty name].umass.amherst@gmail.com or [faculty name].umass.edu@gmail.com).

These fraudulent emails tend to have “Confidential,” "Reply ASAP," or "Urgent Request" in the subject line, with the body of the message asking the recipient to immediately reply. The scammer(s) also attempt to replicate the email signature of the person they’re posing as.

Caution: These emails did not come from the University of Massachusetts. It is a phishing scam designed to trick you into providing your personal information or other things of value.

Do not respond to the fraudulent message! Responding or opening any attachments from the sender may put your information and the university's information and systems at risk.

If you have already responded to the message and supplied your personal information, or something else of value, please notify us at itprotect@umass.edu.


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 itprotect@umass.edu.

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


Phishing messages: