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Security Alert! New Phishing Scam Targets UMass Amherst Community - Tuesday, 11/17

November 17, 2020

On November 17, 2020 a new fraudulent phishing began targeting UMass Amherst email users.

The email appears to have been sent by a person posing as an executive on campus (such as “Elsbeth Walker,” "Erica Scharrer," or "Allison Vorderstrasse," or others), and asks the recipient “Available, cellphone number?”

Caution: This email 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

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 messages:

message claiming to be from Elsbeth Walker