Be Vigilant for Phishing Scams Related to Student Aid and the CARES Act | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Be Vigilant for Phishing Scams Related to Student Aid and the CARES Act

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 12:31


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes funds intended to provide emergency assistance to university students. More than 11,000 students on all five Pitt campuses are receiving CARES Act grants.

Scammers are also aware of these grants and are already plotting ways to exploit the situation. Be vigilant for phishing scams related to CARES Act student assistance that are likely to surface in the coming days and weeks.

Keep in mind the following tips for spotting scams:

  1. Federal, state, and local governments will not ask you to pay a “deposit” or any other fees to obtain CARES Act grants. Any attempt to collect money in exchange for grants is a scam. 
  2. Neither the government nor the University of Pittsburgh will request your Social Security number, bank account number, credit card number, or other sensitive information as a prerequisite for receiving a CARES Act grant.
  3. Refer to the University’s official web page ( for details about student aid being distributed through the CARES Act.

If you receive a message you believe to be a scam, please report it by forwarding the email message as an attachment to Additional tips for spotting phishing scams—along with detailed instructions for reporting suspicious email messages—are available on our phishing awareness page.

Please contact the 24/7 Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) if you have any questions regarding this announcement.