Phishing Alert: Fraudulent Office 365 Email Termination Scam | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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Phishing Alert: Fraudulent Office 365 Email Termination Scam

Thursday, January 11, 2024 - 17:57


Pitt Information Technology is taking action to address a new variation of a phishing scam claiming that your Office 365 email account will be deleted unless you click a link and provide your Pitt credentials.

The Subject line may be similar to these examples:


The body of the email message may be similar to this example:


Dear Valued User,

We received a request from you to terminate your Office 365 email due to a dual college/universities account. This process has begun by our administrator. If you did not authorize this action and you have no knowledge of it, you are advised to re-verify your account. Please give us 24 hours to terminate your account if you initiated the request. Failure to re-verify will result in the closure of your account and you will lose all of my files on these 365 accounts.

Browse the URL Below into the address bar of your web browser to re-verify and cancel the request

[web address redacted]

©Copyright University of Pittsburgh All rights reserved.


Individuals who interacted with this scam and provided their credentials are required to change their University Computing Account password immediately by searching for “change my password” at My Pitt (

Guidance for spotting phishing scams is available on Pitt IT’s website. Keep in mind these key points:

  • Only approve multifactor authentication (Duo) requests that you have initiated. Duo is designed to prevent unauthorized access to your information and University data, but it requires constant vigilance. Never tap “Approve” if you receive a Duo authentication request that you were not expecting. Uninitiated authentication requests may be an attacker attempting to compromise your Pitt account. The only safe Duo authentication request you will receive is one you request when logging in to University services.
  • Do not reply to unsolicited emails or emails from unverifiable sources. If you were not expecting to receive such an email, confirm with the sender prior to interacting with the message. If you must interact with the message, avoid clicking on links contained in such emails. These may lead to sites that contain malicious software, or sites that attempt to steal your credentials. If a link looks suspicious, you can hover over the link with your mouse to preview the URL without clicking on it.
  • Be extra cautious if you automatically forward your University email. Automatically forwarding your University email to a non-University address (for example,,, or circumvents some of the security measures Pitt IT puts in place to protect you against phishing scams.
  • Report suspected phishing scams. To report a phishing scam, forward the phishing email as an attachment to 
  • Stay safe when scanning QR codes. Never scan a QR code from an unknown or untrustworthy source. When you do scan a QR code, be sure to use a scanner app that provides a preview of the destination so that you can review the URL and decide if it is safe. If you scan a QR code and the site is unrelated to what you scanned or requires a login, close out of your browser immediately.
  • Install an antivirus solution for personal devices. Staff and faculty should be using Microsoft Defender to protect University-owned devices. 

Please contact the Technology Help Desk at +1-412-624-HELP (4357) if you have any questions regarding this announcement.