Example 244: “Trust” Sends Scam Form to Reinstate Email

In this example, the sender and the topic do not match!

Scammers used a couple of common techniques in this example. 

  1. They used a real, but compromised, email account to send this scam email that contains a link to a form requesting sensitive login information. 
  2. They also obscured the form’s fields to evade spam filters that might be looking for forms asking for username and password.  

Indicators of Phishing

  • Generic greeting: “Hello user”
  • From a hospital trust fund and non-UMN email address
  • Sense of urgency: “last and final notice”
  • The URL to the form is not umn.edu (form.123formbuilder.com)
  • Passwords on the form are shown in plain text (see image)
  • USER and PASSCODE obscured on the form (U$ER, [email protected])
  • To: a non-UMN email address

What to do if you receive one of these:

  • Do not reply, click the link(s), or login (if you do click the link).
  • Forward the scam email, with headers, to [email protected].
  • Report it as phishing to Google. In Gmail, click the three-dot More menu next to Reply and choose Report phishing to help educate Google's filters to block similar messages in the future.
  • For more information, please see: How to Manage Spam Emails 


Date: Monday, June 21, 2021

Subject: [email protected] of Minnesota Twin Cities

To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]>

Hello user,

This is the last and final notice or our administrator will disable your access to your email. Please click here to University of Minnesota Twin Cities-IT_UPDATE <hxxps://form[dot]123formbuilder[dot]com/5936680/form> your account security by completing the required details to avoid the deactivation of your edu email account.

A cordial greeting,

IT Service Desk (c)2021.