Over the weekend (June 20-21, 2020), people at universities across the country, including the University of Michigan, received a racist email that appeared to come from Equity Prime Mortgage, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia. A webform on the company's site was abused in order to send the disturbing emails. The FBI is investigating.
Equity Prime Mortgage gained national attention in recent days for firing the stepmother of Garrett Rolfe, the former police officer in Atlanta charged with murdering Rayshard Brooks.
We are deeply saddened that members of the U-M community—and members of other university communities—were subjected to this email. We condemn the offensive and racist language in the email.
If you received one of the emails
The racist emails appear to be from Equity Prime Mortgage, and they have a subject line of, "Pre-Qualification Request Complete."
- Delete the email. There is no longer a need to report it.
- If you receive emails like this in the future, please report them to ITS Information Assurance by forwarding them to email@example.com.
What U-M is doing
While we cannot prevent all offensive and fraudulent email from getting through, we do all we can to reduce it.
- Providers of email used at U-M (Google Mail, Michigan Medicine Exchange) routinely block spam and phishing attacks, such as this, but can never block all potential phishing email.
- ITS Information Assurance (IA) staff routinely report malicious senders to the appropriate service providers (such as Google, Yahoo, and so on). The service providers can then shut down the offending accounts.
- IA shares and uses threat intelligence from across the Big Ten Academic Alliance to block known malicious websites and addresses.
- Racist Emails Sent To Thousands Of Stanford Affiliates, Individuals At Peer Institutions (The Stanford Daily, 6/22/20)
- FBI Launches Investigation into Racist Email Sent to Thousands of Harvard Affiliates (The Harvard Crimson, 6/21/20)
- Equity Prime Cyber Attack (Columbia University, Irving Medical Center, 6/21/20)