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Security Alert! New Phishing Scams Target UMass Amherst Community - Tues., 7/28

July 28, 2020

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020,  several new fraudulent phishing messagesbegan targeting UMass Amherst email users.

One email with the subject line "Payroll error" appears to have been sent by “Carol Plummer,” and informs the recipient “I would like to know if you received my previous message concerning the error from the payroll department.”

Another, labeled "Task.." appears to have been sent by “Burnley Jaklevic,” and informs the recipient “I have a task you need to handle immediately.”

A third message, sent by "Tricia Serio," has the subject line "Quick request" and asks the recipient to “Send me your available number”.

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

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

If you have already responded to either messages, change your IT Account password in SPIRE immediately, then please notify us at

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: 

Fraudulent message:

Screenshot of the body of the phishing message.

Screenshot of the aforementioned phishing scam message.