An email offering a work-study job as a temporary personal assistant is currently circulating to students. The text of the message is not in the email, but in an attachment to the email. THIS EMAIL IS A SCAM. Do not respond to the email; please mark the email as phishing by clicking on the three stacked dots in the upper right corner of the message and select “Report phishing” to help reduce the number of emails that get delivered to other individuals.
One easy way to tell if the email is not associated with WIU is that it is not sent from a wiu.edu email account. Phishing schemes will often change tactics, email addresses, and subject lines in an attempt to avoid detection.
How the scam typically works:
- Scammers send an email offering employment.
- The “student employee” receives counterfeit checks in the mail or via e-mail and is instructed to deposit the checks into their personal banking account.
- Many times the scammer then directs the student to withdraw the funds from their bank account and send a portion, via wire transfer, Apple Pay or gift cards to another individual. Often, the transfer of funds is to a “vendor”, purportedly for equipment, materials, or software necessary for the job.
- Subsequently, the checks are confirmed to be fraudulent by the bank.
The following is an example of the employment scam email currently being circulated:
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Initial email states:
READ NOTEPAD ATTACHED FOR INTERNSHIP DETAILS
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Attachment reads as follows:
I am Dr Martin Abramson’s, I feel comfortable discussing this WORK- STUDY opening with you since you were referred by the university chamber of commerce. I am very busy that is why i have asked for your help as my temporary personal assistant. I provide individual and group therapy, coaching, assessment and many University of students with academic difficulties and no prior diagnosis are seen and assessed through the academic screening and assessment process.
You have received this email because you have an offer from the University Office to help Students with Disabilities to work with me while we help Students with disabilities frustrated with ignorance and lack of services but as my temporary personal assistant
This is a very simple employment, You will only help me Mail letters, Make payments at retail stores and purchase some Items when needed. This employment only takes an hour a day and 3 times a week for $450 weekly. I am unable to meetup for an interview because I am currently away and helping the disabled students in Australia.
You will be paid in advance for all tasks and purchased to be done on my behalf and some of my personal letters and mails will be forwarded to your residence or nearby post office for you to pick up at your convenience. Upon my arrival we will discuss the possibility of making this a long-term employment if I am impressed with your services while I am away. My arrival is scheduled for the last week of April 2020.
Please email your Full name, Residential Address to receive packages, Alternate email (different from school email) and Cell #
Disability Resources and Educational Services(DRES)
You are required to fill the below details
Mobile Phone number:
Alternative email (different from school email):
Attached Resume( Its okay if you do not have resume to attach). Please its highly important that you reply and send above information to my personal email address (email@example.com) so i can respond back to you immediately.
Dr Martin Abramson’s
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Tips on how to protect yourself from this scam:
- Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.
- Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in emails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
- Verify the authenticity of the source of the email. For example, if the person states they are an employee at WIU, look in the University directory (directory.wiu.edu) for that person and contact them using their publicly listed contact information to verify the accuracy of the communication.
- Report to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/. Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.
If you have been a victim of this scam or any other Internet-related scam that has resulted in a monetary loss, notify WIU’s Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949 and you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov/.
University Technology – Western Illinois University
Support Center: (309) 298-TECH | Stipes Hall 126