Recently I have received numerous email and calls from vendors, mostly in the IT market segment, that have received emails and purchase order inquiries purporting to be from the UMass Amherst Procurement Department. The orders may look official but they DO NOT come from my office even though they use my name and a somewhat similar email address. The email used is: johnmart [at] umassc.org . This is close enough to my UMass email to fool some vendors. Vendors that have gone along with the scam to get additional information have found that the fake purchase order that is issued has shipping addresses in the Eastern part of the state. The locations are “rent an address” locations that just forward the shipment for a fee. The shipments are probably getting forwarded overseas so once they leave the USA they can’t be retrieved.
In this age of posting everything on-line the scammers are able to copy and paste our logo, names etc. from our website to make the documents look official so if you have any question please contact my office immediately to confirm if it is a legitimate UMass Amherst order. My understanding is that other schools are also being targeted for this same scam so be aware of that also.
From what we can tell the vendors being targeted are on the MHEC and OSD IT and AV contracts. The scammers may branch out once they run out of vendors on those contracts so any vendor can be subject to the scam.
John O. Martin Director of Procurement & Campus Services