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ISO warns of gift card scams

To better protect yourself, please follow these best practices.

The U’s Information Security Office (ISO) is urging the University of Utah and University of Utah Health community to remain cautious and alert to possible email and text message scams in which criminals impersonating high-level faculty or staff members ask an employee to purchase them gift cards.

In the scam targeting the university community, the perpetrator often will email an employee, posing as an administrator who needs your contact information. Example:

Subject: Quick request
Send me your available cell number
Administrator’s name
Chair, Department


After a phone number is provided, the scammer will contact the employee via text message about purchasing the gift cards and sending back the codes.

To better protect yourself, please follow these best practices:

  • Check the email address carefully. Is it from someone you know? Is it spelled correctly? You can verify university email addresses in the Campus Directory or Active Directory in your university email client.
  • Call the administrator directly to verify the request, using a number you know to be accurate.

If you have questions, your local IT support staff may be able to assist, or you may contact your respective help desk: UIT Help Desk 801-581-4000, option 1 or ITS Service Desk 801-587-6000.