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Phishing Email Impersonates Dr. Hrabowski

Beware of Obvious Signs of Phishing

A new phishing email has been hitting inboxes recently:

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 16:07:19 +0300
    From: President Edu 
    hello good day, let me know when you are available. there is something  
    i need you to do. i am stuck in a seminar right now, kindly drop your
    cellphone number to send text message
Freeman A. Hrabowski III

This is not a very well-crafted message.  Some things to note:

  • The timezone on the Date, +0300, suggests that the message originated in Eastern Europe, East Africa, or the Arabian Peninsula.   

  • The From header says “President Edu” which is not Dr. Hrabowski’s name.

  • The email address that the message was sent from does not come from umbc.edu.

  • The recipient is asked to provide a cell phone number for a text message.  Why not just say what needs to be said in the email and provide a cell phone number for the reply?

  • The capitalization, punctuation, grammar are not professional or proper. 

This type of phishing message has become common.  If the recipient responds, they will receive a text message asking them to purchase gift cards, and send the relevant gift card information back to the scammers.  Messages like this are sometimes texted directly to people’s phones at random. If the gift card information is sent to the scammer, the scammer will immediately drain the money from the gift card, and the money will be gone.

If you receive one of these messages, do not respond or reply. Just forward the message to security@umbc.edu and delete the message.

For more information on spotting phishing message and handling spam, please check out our FAQ: Phishing & Spam


Posted: March 24, 2020, 4:26 PM