Email Phishing Scam
March 7, 2016
Attention All PSERS Members: Notice of Email Scam
It has been brought to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System’s (PSERS) attention that there is a fraudulent email claiming to originate from “PSERS Retirement System”.
The subject line of the email indicates "3 PSERS Retirement System Alerts". The narrative of the email provides supposed alerts regarding funds at risk due to stock market declines, scholarship program availability and scheduling a retirement planning session with PSERS. There are various links to click throughout the email relating to the individual topics that are presented. Those links redirect the user to websites not affiliated with PSERS or the Commonwealth of PA.
The signature of the email is from
PSERS Annual Reviews
School District Employees Support Team
Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System Information
This is not the proper name for PSERS, nor is the phone number associated with PSERS in any way. Additionally, PSERS does not send general announcements to members through email at this time. Any change in this practice will be announced to members via our newsletter.
If you receive a message like this or another potentially fraudulent message don’t reply, and don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the message. These fraudulent emails, also known as phishing emails, direct you to spoof sites – sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information so a scammer can run up bills or commit crimes in your name. If you’re concerned about your PSERS account you should contact PSERS directly using the contact information in our newsletters, letterhead or on our website,
If you suspect an email message might not be legitimate, the Governor's Office of Administration recommends the following:
- Do not reply to these types of messages and delete the message if and when received.
- Some messages may ask for personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN) , passwords, etc. You should never reply to inquiries asking for privileged/proprietary information.
- Don't open or click on anything from an unknown source. If it is familiar but unexpected/questionable, contact that person to verify that they sent the email.
- If it looks suspicious or if there is a doubt about the legitimacy in any way, delete the message and do not reply.
If you believe you have received a fraudulent email regarding your PSERS account you should verify its authenticity with PSERS and if not legitimate, you should also report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Below is information from the FTC regarding how to report these types of emails.
Report Phishing Emails
Forward phishing emails to
— and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email. Your report is most effective when you include the full email header, but most email programs hide this information. To find out how to include it, type the name of your email service with “full email header” into your favorite search engine.
You also can report phishing email to
. The Anti-Phishing Working Group — which includes ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies — uses these reports to fight phishing.
If you might have been tricked by a phishing email:
File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at
Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.