Beware Email Scams - Pet Sitter, Baby Sitter, and Employment
Several variations of phishing e-mails are being sent to users looking for a pet sitter, baby sitter, mystery shopper, payroll clerk and offering internships. They ask you to reply to an e-mail with their phone number to follow up for additional details.
These are common internet scams known as Fake Check Scams. They are often job offers, lottery or gift card scams. The scammer will send you a counterfeit check, and ask that you send them money or gift cards in return. Your bank will accept this check as a deposit but days or weeks later, the bank will tell you that the check bounced! By this time, you have already sent the attacker paypal, applepay, wired money or gift card codes and there is no way to get it back!
The examples above are just a few of the variations of this scam. The attackers vary these requests and change them frequently to avoid detection.
In order to keep yourself safe online keep several things in mind:
• Anytime you are sent a check or money order from someone you don’t know and told to deposit the check and send off some money to them or a third party — stop and ask yourself, would any legitimate business transaction require me todo that? Simple answer: No.
• Is this too good to be true?
• Are they asking me to wire money or send gift cards?
• Are they acting with an extreme sense of urgency?
• Is the rate far outside of norms? e.g. $40 an hour for a job that normally pays $15 an hour?
• Understand the banking system - When you deposit a check and the funds show up in your account as “available,” it does not mean the check is valid.
• Never give out your address or phone number to strangers.
In many cases, being able to recognize a scam is the only way to avoid it. University Technology Services offers free Security Awareness Training to students through D2L. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this training.
Also, follow us on Twitter @calupatech where we post samples of recent phishing messages that were sent to campus.
If you receive a phishing/scam email, please forward it to email@example.com.