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

Phishing Alert: IT Help Desk Scam

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 16:40


Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) is responding to a new email phishing scam that claims your email account will be blocked unless you click a link to reset it. The link directs readers to a harmful site 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 Help Desk

Dear Email Owner,

This is to officially inform you that, your Email Account will be Blocked / suspend because we have detect some security problem and threat to our database from your  E-mail Account. all your sent messages will no longer deliver to the sent recipients and you will no longer receive all incoming mails. Kindly Click on this Link >> <link removed> to login and verify and reset your Email Account now via our new outlook update centre to avoid permanent closure of this email Account. Failure to reset your Email Account will leads to permanent closure.

Regards, IT Help Desk


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.