Phishing Alert: "IT Desk" Scam | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Phishing Alert: "IT Desk" Scam

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 13:43


Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) is responding to a new email phishing scam that claims your email account will be removed due to "congestion" unless you click a link to confirm it. The link directs readers to a harmful Web page that attempts to collect their username and password. 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: IT Desk

Maintenance Unit,

Due to congestion in all accounts,there shall be a removal

exercise of all used and unused Email

Accounts. IT DESK Inc would be shutting down several accounts.You will

have to confirm your Email Account. So you are required to

log on to your Online Email Account Details with the provided link below.


Thank you for your co-operation

© 2016 All rights reserved.


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

IT Desk scam

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 24/7 Help Desk at 412-624-HELP [4357] if you have any questions regarding this announcement.