Coronavirus Scare Spawning Phishing Scams | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

You are here

Coronavirus Scare Spawning Phishing Scams

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 16:00


Scammers often take advantage of health scares to distribute phishing scams. The worldwide spread of the coronavirus has spawned many such campaigns, scaring recipients into clicking on harmful links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media posts. 

Coronavirus scams have taken many forms, including:

  • Notices from health organizations (e.g., the CDC or local/state health departments) about local diagnoses
  • Updates from an employer about policies or procedures to address the risk
  • Information about protecting yourself, your children, or your community
  • Charitable appeals to help victims of the virus

Be vigilant for Coronavirus scams during the coming weeks. If you suspect a message may be a phishing scam, please report it by forwarding the email message as an attachment (or reporting a text or social media post) to

Tips for spotting phishing scams—along with detailed instructions for reporting suspicious email messages—are available on our Phishing Awareness page. Go directly to health or government sites—such as—to find updated information about the virus and its spread.

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