Advisory: Who Was that Masked Emailer?

Gift Card Scammers Can Mask Their IDs

Adept email scammers fake the "From" address in emails to look like a real sender.

While most of the gift card scammers simply send from a forged email account (e.g., [email protected], for a user who uses [email protected]), there are some who are able to mask the real sending account and send an email that has what looks like a legitimate "From" address.


Unless you look at the full headers of the email, you can't tell this didn't really come from Dr. Lastname. All other signs, however, point to this being a scam:

  • Extremely terse message
  • Simple "are you there"
  • "Don't try to phone me" directive
  • "From" address appears to come from
  • "Reply-To" address goes to somewhere else

What to Do

If you have any question regarding messages like this - please send this to [email protected] and University Information Security will investigate the source.