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Home Notice to Suppliers

Notice to Suppliers

Fraudulent Purchase Order Activity via Email or Other Means

The University of Utah Purchasing Department wants to alert suppliers to an active email ordering scam that involves requests for quotations, establishment of credit or submission of a purchase order, which purports to originate from the University but is in fact fraudulent.

While the University cannot prevent this illegal activity, we are actively working with law enforcement to investigate these fraudulent email contacts and to address fraudulent purchase orders issued in the University’s name as we become aware of them.

Although this investigation is ongoing, we can share with you some common traits or themes of these fraudulent emails which may help reduce the risk to your company from becoming a financial victim of this scam.

  • The email message is poorly written, with misspellings and awkward sentence structure
  • The sender’s email address or website link are not the same as the University’s standard email address domain which is
  • The delivery zip code listed in the email is something other than the University’s regular zip codes of 84108 or 84112 or 84132
  • The message or counterfeit purchase order requests shipment/delivery of products to a non-University of Utah address. Take a moment to check the address on Google maps or similar site. The University does not request delivery to apartments, business complexes, shipyards, storage units, or residential addresses.
  • The quote requests large quantities of highly resalable items such as electronics, hard drives, memory, toner cartridges, medical or scientific items, etc. Examples of fraudulent email address domains that have been used are:

The message may include an attachment that is designed to look like an official request for quote or purchase order. It may include an authentic logo or University watermark copied from our website or contain some other graphics designed to look legitimate. It may even include a signature that looks legitimate representing one of our management team or buyers.

If you are not familiar with the documents being provided and/or content of a University purchase order or suspect fraud in any way, please contact us immediately before responding to the email or filling the order.

You may contact the Purchasing Department by phone or email, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Purchasing and the University of Utah value our partnership with you and appreciate the very important role your play in providing goods and services to University faculty, students and staff. Please know that we are assisting to the fullest extent we are able with the investigation of this illegal activity.

Michael Smith
Director/ Purchasing Department
Jeff Johnson
Associate Director/ Purchasing Department