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Security Alert! New Phishing Scam Targets UMass Amherst Community - Thurs., 5/14

May 14, 2020

On May 14, 2020 a new fraudulent phishing message with the subject “TASK RQT” began targeting UMass Amherst email users.

The email appears to have been sent by “John Kennedy,” and informs the recipient “I need you to get a task done”.

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 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, change your IT Account password in SPIRE immediately, then please notify us at

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: 

Fraudulent message:

Screenshot of the aforementioned phishing scam message.