Phishing Alert: "Account Locked!" Scam | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Phishing Alert: "Account Locked!" Scam

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 12:17


Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) is responding to a new email phishing scam that claims your account has been locked and you must update it by clicking on a link. The link directs readers to a harmful site that attempts to collect their username and password by imitating the previous My Pitt login page. The email scam usually originates from a University email address.

The following is a sample of the recent fraudulent email. If you receive this message (or any message similar to it), please report it as a phishing scam by forwarding the email message as an attachment to Detailed instructions on reporting scams are available at


Subject: Account Locked!!!

This is to inform all staff/student of our New security updates need to be performed on our servers,due to the rate of phishing. Please update your account by clicking on the link below and fill information for activation.

CLICK <link removed>

Follow the procedure and complete information.

Thank you for understanding.

IT Support Center.


The link in the phishing email directs readers to a malicious Web page (shown below) that mimics the previous My Pitt login page and attempts to collect your username and password.

Scam page

CSSD strongly recommends that you do not reply to unsolicited emails or emails from unverifiable sources. Avoid clicking on links contained in such emails, as these may lead to sites that contain harmful software. If a link looks suspicious, you can hover over the link with your mouse to preview the URL without clicking on it.

In addition, CSSD recommends that all users install Symantec Endpoint Protection software and use the LiveUpdate feature to get the latest virus definitions. As a complement to Symantec Endpoint Protection, CSSD offers Malwarebytes Premium for individuals and departments at no cost. Students, faculty, and staff can download Malwarebytes and Symantec Endpoint Protection at no cost through the Software Download Service at My Pitt. Departments can submit a help request to obtain Malwarebytes for multiple machines.

Please contact the Technology Help Desk at 412-624-HELP [4357] if you have any questions regarding this announcement.