Phishing Alert: Request from NYUAD to review a research proposal

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: 
Monday, July 24, 2023

Phishing Email Description

This scam primarily targets faculty and other researchers.

This phishing email attempts to:

  • Trick recipients into believing they have been asked to participate in peer review of a research proposal or project.
  • Appear more legitimate by including attached forms used to facilitate payment for the alleged review. The forms are another avenue for stealing personal information, possibly including financial information.

The person or persons behind this scam may:

  • reply to questions using email or another method of contact.
  • try to provide follow-up information to convince recipients that the offer is real.
  • make excuses for errors in the materials provided.

How to Protect Yourself. 

  • Always be suspicious of offers for paid employment you did not seek out.
  • In the case of this phish, the sending address was an MS Outlook account that wasn't associated with the actual academic institution claimed in the email.
  • If you have reason to believe a contact may be legitimate, look up that person in the directory of the institution they work for, find a phone or email for the colleague in question that is not included in the email you received, and contact that individual, and ask if they did indeed email you. At U-M, you can find the names and contact info for colleagues in the MCommunity Directory.

Phishing Email Text

Dear Dr. [Name Redacted],

I am writing to you on behalf of our Vice Provost for Research Administration , Dr. [Name Redacted].

A proposal titled "Replication Of Electoral Registration and Turnout for Women: Experimental Evidence from Kenya" has been submitted in response to the solicitation. An initial research was conducted in march 2015. We would like to invite you to provide a review of the concluding research.

Would you please send a reply within the weekend to confirm your willingness to participate? We would ask for your completed review by 21 July.

We have attached a copy of the proposal and a template that you may use to facilitate your review. Comments from the referees provides extremely valuable guidance to the proposers. We would very much like to share your comments anonymously with the proposal's author. If you request that the contents of your review, not be shared with the proposer, we would honor your request, of course.

We sincerely appreciate your time, and would like to offer an honorarium of $3000. We have attached payment forms to this message. If you would be kind enough to return the signed completed form to me along with your reply, that would help to expedite the payment process.

Thank you, We very much appreciate your willingness to devote time to helping us with this important task.

[Name Redacted]
NYU Abu Dhabi
West Administration Building/A3 (164A)
P.O. Box 129188Abu Dhabi, United Arab