Fraudulent emails

We want to alert suppliers to an active email scam involving false purchase orders and requests for product quotations that purport to originate from the University of Plymouth but are in fact fraudulent. 

While the University cannot prevent this activity, we are actively working alongside members of our network in the Higher Education Procurement Association (HEPA) to collectively approach this challenge.

If you believe you are a supplier/recipient of such correspondence we want to share some common traits or themes of these fraudulent emails which we hope will help your company decide how to identify and address such correspondence.

  • The email messages are often poorly written with misspellings and awkward sentence structures.
  • The sender's website links are not authentic to the University of Plymouth.
  • The email address used by the sender is in a subtly different format. For example @plymouth-ac.co.uk, a legitimate University email address will end in @plymouth.ac.uk
  • Emails may include an attachment that is designed to look like a purchase order and may include a logo or other graphic and a signature.
  • The email messages will not generally use legitimate University staff names
If you believe you have received a fraudulent email that appears to be from the University of Plymouth, you can forward it to our Procurement department: procurement@plymouth.ac.uk to verify its legitimacy. You can also contact the Procurement department by phone on +44 (0)1752 582057.

If you are concerned about cyber crime or wish to report an incident, please visit the Action Fraud Web page or contact them on 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime. You should report fraud to Action Fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime.