Information Services > Security > News & Updates > Piano Giveaway Scam - 09/22/21

Piano Giveaway Scam - 09/22/21

Screenshot of malicious email:

A screenshot of a malicious email. The email attempts to trick victims into believing that they can acquire a baby grand piano in a giveaway.

On September 22nd, 2021, compromised community member email addresses were utilized in spamming out another round of the piano giveaway scam (see 07/26/21 posting)​.

The malicious email encourages recipients to email a non-DePaul hotmail address with their interest in a non-existant widowed DePaul retirees' "baby grand piano". Once the victim emails the external email address, 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 miscelaneous "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. emailing a hotmail account)
- Promises of extreme monetary gains (i.e. an expensive grand piano)​​