Notice to Suppliers: Fraudulent Purchase Orders Purporting to be from MIT
The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF) is advising MIT’s suppliers to be aware of an email ordering scam that involves requests for quotations, establishment of credit, or submission of a purchase order. The email purports to come from MIT but is in fact fraudulent.
While MIT cannot prevent this illegal activity, the Institute is actively working with law enforcement to investigate these fraudulent email contacts and to address fraudulent purchase orders issued in the Institute’s name as we become aware of them.
Knowing how to spot these fraudulent emails can help suppliers from becoming a victim of this scam. Check for these indicators:
- 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 Institute’s standard email address domain, which is @mit.edu.
- The delivery zip code listed in the email is something other than the Institute’s regular zip code, which is 02139.
- The telephone number listed is something other than the Institute’s exchange. See the exchange listing.
- The message or counterfeit purchase order requests shipment/delivery of products to a non-MIT address. Take a moment to check the address on Google maps or similar site. The Institute does not request delivery to PO boxes, apartments, business complexes, or residential addresses.
- The quote requests large quantities of highly resalable items, such as electronics, hard drives, toner cartridges, and medical or scientific items.
- The message may include an attachment that is designed to look like an official request for a quote or a purchase order. It may include an Institute logo or watermark copied from an MIT website or contain some other graphic designed to look legitimate. It may also include a legitimate-looking signature representing an MIT buyer or other staff member.
Suppliers who receive suspicious emails or purchase orders are advised to contact John Larkin, Associate Director of Accounts Payable, at email@example.com.