Fraud Detection and Reporting

The Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST) will like to alert our supplier community of an on-going fraudulent scheme targeted at suppliers of higher education institutions across the country, including the UMass System. We encourage all our suppliers to reach out to UPST to verify any purchase order request that the supplier may believe is suspicious.

Fraudulent purchase order emails may have one or more of these common characteristics:

  • involves fraudulent/fake purchase orders, or fake requests for quotes, that claim to originate from the UMass System.
  • use legitimate UMass addresses when placing the order, but change the ship-to address after placing the order to a non-UMass address.
  • spoof of a UMass email account. The UMass System email address ends with a .edu and never a .net, .org, or .com.
  • impersonation of a UMass employee that hold purchasing authority, by using a defunct email address.
  • messages that include an attachment designed to look like a UMass purchase order, may include a logo or other graphic, and a signature that may look legitimate

While we cannot prevent this illegal activity, we want to promote awareness and communicate the necessity of verifying requests.

Note the following when transacting with the UMass System:

  • Only UPST’s procurement team are authorized to issue a purchase order on behalf of the UMass system, you may access the list of these specialists here.
  • UPST’s procurement team utilized an e-procurement platform to issue Purchase Orders. PO’s issued from UMass will come from Buyways@umassp.edu
  • If you receive a purchase order by email, please alert your staff to hover over the address to ensure that it was sent from this address Buyways@umassp.edu and from a person listed on UPST staff page.

If you believe you have received a fraudulent email that appears to be from the UMass System, you should forward it to our procurement team at upst@umassp.edu or call us at 774-545-UPST (8778) to authenticate before fulfilling the order or responding to that email.

The UMass System values its relationship and partnership with our supplier community. We keep escalating these fraudulent activities to the appropriate authorities when we are made aware of it and support ongoing investigations as needed.