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How to protect yourself and Pitt from phishing scams

A hand on a laptop trackpad.

Phishing attacks impersonate a legitimate person or organization to trick the recipient into downloading harmful attachments or sharing sensitive information. Scammers can target you for financial information, to gain control of your computer or get access to your University Computing Account and resources.

Although many of the spam emails you receive are harmless, some can contain malicious software or link to websites that will download software intended to compromise your computer.

Phishing scams are often email messages that:

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Invoke strong emotions, like greed or fear
  • Request sensitive data
  • Contain links that do not appear to match legitimate resources for the organization that is contacting you

To report a phishing scam, forward the email as an attachment to phish [at] pitt.edu. The Pitt IT security team will review the email and, if necessary, advise on further steps. For more information, visit Pitt IT’s website.

Pitt IT's guide to spotting scam emails

Recognizing and reporting phishing attempts is vital for helping Pitt IT combat these attacks. This interactive training course explains how a phishing attack works, how to recognize one and what to do if this scam targets you.