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Piano Giveaway 12-2-21

Example of phishing email offering a free piano.


On December 2nd, 2021, a new variant of the piano giveaway scam was spammed out by compromised community member email accounts.

The malicious email encourages recipients to text a non-DePaul phone number with their interest in a non-existent individual's "Yamaha baby grand" piano. Once the victim texts the scammer, the malicious actor will request personal and/or sensitive information from the victim, and carry out the next steps in the scam. Typically, the scammer will request that victims pay a "shipping fee", and or other miscellaneous "expenses". Ultimately, the victim will be defrauded.

It is always important to remain vigilant when handling email, even when it appears to come from a DePaul email address or other official looking email address. Email addresses and login portals can be spoofed and imitated. Compromised email accounts (e.g. if a fellow DePaul community member fell victim to phishing) are often used to target the community. Keeping your DePaul account secure helps keep the entire community secure.

Some indicators that this email is malicious:
- Grammatical errors
- Leading communications off of DePaul's platform (i.e. directing the recipient to text a cell phone number)
- Promises of extreme monetary gains (i.e. an expensive grand piano)

Anyone that has fallen for this scam or has further concerns can contact security@depaul.edu.




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