Cybersecurity Alert : Email Scams Involving iTunes Gift Card Purchases

Dear Colleagues,

Further to our previous reminder of email scams,  an increasing number of email scams involving Apple iTunes gift cards is observed recently.  ITSC would like to remind all HKUST members to stay vigilant to suspicious emails involving any gift card purchases.

Scammers usually use non-UST email addresses (e.g. from and pretend to be a senior executive of the University.  Their emails may also include the executive’s public information (e.g. title, full name, position or contact information) to make the email look more genuine. 

Such email scams have also been reported in some universities of Hong Kong and Overseas.   Apple also issued a webpage to warn users about similar email scams.  For more information, please visit

We would like to remind all UST members to take the following steps to protect yourselves against common email fraud.

  • Check carefully the email and sender’s email address, and make sure you really know the sender’s identity before doing what you are asked to do
  • Try to contact the sender in another way (e.g. phone, official email addresses, instant messaging, or visits) to verify his/her request
  • Be vigilant about the requests of the email scams.  Never disclose confidential information (e.g. username, password, account numbers, etc.) or commit financial aids via gift cards or bank transfer

For details about protecting yourself against social engineering attack and email phishing, please refer to the information below.

Should you require any assistance or have any enquiries, please feel free to contact ITSC Service Desk (Tel: 2358-6200) or email to 



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