Phishing Alert: Webmail Upgrade and Verification Scam | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Phishing Alert: Webmail Upgrade and Verification Scam

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 08:34


Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) is responding to a new email phishing scam that claims your Webmail has been upgraded and you must click a link to verify your account and complete the process. The link in the email scam directs readers to a harmful Web page that attempts to collect your username and password. The email scam usually originates from an address outside the University.

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: University of Pittsburgh Upgrade Important Information


Dear Email User,

This is to inform you that New Updates have been added to your Webmail, you are advised to Authenticate/verify your email account to enable us finalize the process of updating/upgrading of your mailbox. You are required to CLICK HERE to upgrade your email account or on the link below

<hyperlink removed>

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.


Webmail Admin Helpdesk
University of Pittsburgh


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

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