Phishing for Wildcats


University Police Department sent out an email early Wednesday morning regarding an email scam that has been tricking students into accepting fake job opportunities. The email expresses that UPD received multiple reporting’s of similar incidences. Students would have “employers” reach out to them via email, noting that this is the only form of communication. There is no face-to-face interview, no proof of employment, and no form of paperwork.

The email from UPD describes an instance of how these scams have occurred. Students would receive a large sum of money in the mail where they were instructed to deposit the money in their personal bank account. They would then keep a portion as a paycheck and wire the rest of the money to an unknown account. The money received was either counterfeit or stolen, and some students were even arrested at the banks because they were attempting to deposit the cash.

“The fake job posting is just another type of spam or phishing scam,” expresses Mark Hendricks, Information Security Officer for IT Support Services. He provides there are multiple types of attacks, as he references the phishing scam that occurred last year where students were tricked into giving away their Chico State portal password, in which more 3,000 accounts were hacked. There is a plan to bring greater awareness to those on the Chico campus about phishing, which Hendricks explains, “We are starting to work on a new phishing campaign called PhishMe, where students and employees will be sent messages in their emails. If they fall for the email, it will take them to a page identifying it as CSU Chico. The page will provide tools to explain what phishing is and why to be careful. It’s a way to get people to take a second look and raise awareness.”

UPD explains they would like students to take precautions, expressing if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also provided are steps in which students can prevent themselves from falling victim to this crime:

· If you receive a similar job offer via e-mail, do not reply and delete the e-mail immediately.

· If you receive any job offer via e-mail, and it contains numerous spelling and grammar errors, it is likely a foreign-based e-mail scam. Do not reply. Delete the e-mail.

· If you receive a check in the mail and then are supposed to deposit the check and wire the funds elsewhere, do not deposit the check. Shred the check.

· If the sender continues to contact you, delete the sender’s e-mails. It is not uncommon for a suspect to repeatedly contact an intended victim.

Kyla Linville can be reached at [email protected] or @kyla_linville on Twitter.