Phishing Alert: QUICK PIANO OFFER!!

Some U-M community members reported receiving this email. It is fraudulent or malicious. Do not respond, click any link in it, or provide personal information or money. See Phishing & Scams for more tips. If you need help, contact the ITS Service Center.

Date Sent: 
Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Phishing or Scam Email Description

This phishing scam email impersonates the U-M President, Dr. Santa Ono. The email claims that the president is helping Dr. Thomas Baird to give away a piano. This phishing scam is likely trying to gather personal information from respondants, and/or to scam them out of money. A common trick in this type of scam is to offer a large item like the piano for free, but ask the person acquiring it to pay the cost of shipping/moving it.

How to tell this is a scam: The first two clues that this is a scam are that the email addresses used for the U-M president and Dr. Baird are both non-UM addresses. It is extremely unlikely that the U-M president or other faculty or staff would reach out to members of the community from any address except their U-M one. It is also extremely unlikely that the U-M president or any other faculty or staff would try to facilitate selling or giving away a piano in this manner.

When in doubt: The best course of action with email like this is to simply delete it. If you receive suspicious email but have some reason to believe it might be legitimate, you should use the MCommunity Directory to look up the sender, and contact them directly using their email or phone listed in the directory. Do not reply to the email or use contact information given in it. It is common for scammers to fake the correct email but set a different "reply to" that goes back to an account they control. 

Phishing or Scam Email Text

Dear Student/Faculty/Staff,
One of our staff at UM Dr. Thomas Baird is downsizing and looking to give away her late dad’s piano to a loving home. The Piano is a 2014 Yamaha Baby Grand used like new. You can write to her to indicate your interest on her private email [email protected] to arrange inspection and delivery or pickup with a moving company.
NB: Please write Dr. Thomas Baird with your personal email for a swift response.
Dr. Santa Ono
Office of the President

University of Michigan