Be careful with “urgent” requests from supervisors – UPDATED!

A large number of fraudulent emails have been received by staff and faculty members of campus departments and/or schools. The emails purport to be from a department head or director and have the subject of “URGENT” (all caps). They all claim to “have an assignment” for the recipient to complete. Below is the complete email message:

**********************************************Begin quoted text

Good Morning <recipient>,

Are you in the office ? I have an assignment i need you to do for me.I am in a meeting i won’t be able to pick a call.


<first name of director or department head>

**********************************************End quoted text

The end goal is unknown, as all instances so far have been reported as phishing without engaging the fraudulent sender. Most likely they are simply another ruse to convince employees to purchase iTunes gift cards or other non-traceable currency (pre-paid gift card, etc.). UPDATE: Any reply to this email will be met with a response to purchase iTunes gift cards. Here is one version of the reply:

*************************************************Begin quoted text

I need iTunes gift cards to send out to some client, can you confirm if we can get some now? Will want you to make arrangement to get the gift cards so i can advise certain product and denomination to procure.



<first name of director or department head>

**************************************************End quoted text

Another response is shown below:

****************************************************Begin quoted text

Hey <first name of recipient>, I’m in a meeting and i will not be able to talk to you on phone.I will need you to run a quick errand for me at the nearest store, this is really urgent and important.Do let me know if you can?



<first name of director or department head>

***************************************************End quoted text

Please be careful with these and don’t reply. Simply report them using the “Report Email as Phishing” button in your client.


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