Job Scams

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and continually devise clever ways to obtain personal data and steal money. Students, Staff and Faculty can be unsuspecting targets for a cybercriminal.

A common job scam scenario involves sending a phishing email to a faculty or staff member. If the faculty or staff member takes the bait, then they might be asked to click on a link to login to access a document. The scammer can steal the user’s credentials. The stolen credentials will be used to login to the victim’s email account and send more phishing messages. By doing this the scammer is able to impersonate the victim and the new emails sent by the scammer appear to be coming from a trusted person. Scammers like to use this scenario to target faculty and students.

Protecting yourself from online job scams is crucial. Here are some cybersecurity tips specifically tailored to avoid falling victim to online job scams:
  • Research the Company: Always research the company offering the job. Check their website, verify their contact information, and look for reviews or feedback from other employees. Legitimate companies have an online presence, a physical address, and a track record.
  • Job Postings on Reputable Sites: Use established job search websites or platforms with a good reputation. Legitimate employers often post their job openings on well-known sites.
  • Question Unsolicited Emails: If you receive unsolicited job offers via email, be cautious. Ask yourself if you've applied to that company before. Legitimate companies typically don't cold-email job offers.
  • Check the Email Sender: Verify the email address the offer is coming from. Legitimate companies usually use their domain names in their email addresses. Be cautious if the email comes from a free provider or has a slightly altered domain.
  • Urgency and Unrealistic Promises: Beware of emails creating a sense of urgency or promising unrealistic benefits for minimal work. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
  • Personal Information Requests: Legitimate employers generally do not ask for personal information like your bank details, social security number, or other sensitive data upfront in the initial stages of hiring.
  • Grammar and Spelling Errors: Pay attention to grammar and spelling in the emails. Scam emails often contain errors that give away their inauthenticity.
  • Different Communication Channels: If they ask you to communicate via a different email or messaging service, especially if they want to avoid using the company's official channels, it's likely a red flag.
  • Money Requests or Financial Transactions: Be extremely cautious if the employer requests any form of payment or asks you to deposit or transfer funds, especially in the name of job processing fees or equipment purchases.
  • Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or suspicious, trust your instincts. Verify the legitimacy of the offer through other channels or by contacting the company directly using their verified contact information.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect a scam, report it to the platform where you found the job posting, your local authorities, or relevant cybersecurity agencies.
Staying vigilant and exercising caution while applying for jobs online can help you avoid falling victim to job scams that compromise your personal information and finances.

If you believe you are a victim of this type of scam, change your password(s) and contact UHS Information Security and your campus Police Department.