Email Scam Alert - September 23, 2019

To: UCSC Community

From: Brian Hall, Interim Chief Information Security Officer

ITS continues to receive reports of a pervasive email scam that is being sent to UCSC email addresses. The fake email pretends to be from someone in a leadership position with the subject line, ‘Available’, ‘Are you available‘, ‘Quick Respond ’ or ‘Urgent Request’. Due to the influential nature of this fake email message, (pretending to be your boss, making an urgent request, using an email address similar to your boss) this scam has been notably successful in stealing personal information and/or money from users.  

Google will alert you that this message could be a scam if you are using the web client or Gmail app on a portable device. 

The ‘from’ email address is an easy way to spot this type of email scam. Upon inspecting the ‘from’ address, you’ll see these addresses are not but are addresses (or some other domain other than If you reply to the email, the scammer will ask you to buy gift cards using your personal money/credit card with a false promise of being reimbursed.

DO NOT reply to the message, send any funds, or purchase any gift cards.

DO report the email scam immediately to ITS and Google by following these steps:

  • Report to ITS: Copy the entire message including full headers and send to

  • Report to Google: If using the UCSC Gmail web interface, open the message, click the ellipses (the three vertical dots next to the Reply arrow), and then click ‘Report phish’.

If you have responded to the scam email, started communicating with the scammer, or been a victim to the scam, please contact the UC Santa Cruz Police Department at 831.459.2231 ext 1 to file a report.

More information on phishing and scams: