New Gift Card Phishing Scams

There is an ongoing phishing scam targeting UVA employees. The scam appears to come from someone you know at the University, often somebody you think is important, such as an associate Dean or department chair, asking if you can do them a favor  or give "urgent help".  It often starts with an email that says, "Available?".

The email typically asks you to only use email to respond because the sender is occupied (in a meeting) and currently unable to take calls.  The scammer replies to the your response, asking you to purchase gift cards, scratch off the back to reveal the gift card codes, and send pictures of the cards to them via reply email.  The person promise to pay you back as soon as they are back in the office, so don't worry if you have to use your own cash or credit card!   

Don't fall for it! 

If you receive an email that you think may be making such a request, first try contacting the sender using the email or phone number you have for them or use the UVA Internal People Search to get their phone number and email. Then use one of these to contact them to confirm they sent the email and it's legitimate. Do not reply to the email, that email address is likely not going to who you think the sender is anyway - it's going to the scammer. 

Also, please check the Information Security Alerts webpage - there's an example posted there.  Also check the Information Security’s webpage of phishing examples.   If you suspect the email is not legitimate, or are not sure, send it to [email protected].  

For more information about gift card scams, in general, please see our gift card scams webpage