Phishing Awareness: Job Scams Suck

Each year, millions of emails, websites, text messages, and phone calls are weaponized by scammers to steal people’s personal information. Unfortunately, as a large institution with lots of students, faculty, and staff, UWM is a target for these attacks. The most common type of phishing attempt that students at UWM experience are job scams like the one below.

Hi Selected candidate, I am emailing you concerning a new employment offer through the University's recruiting department. offering a part time position that will only require 1-2hrs and 3 days a week, no work expereince or skill is required. You can definitely make $600 weekly without affecting your regular activities and academics, To apply and to know more about the job, get back to us with the information listed below so we can process your application to consider it valid to commence working with us. Name Contact Address (No PO Box) City State Zip Code Mobile Number Sex Age Alternative Email Valid ID Prof Boscoe

Often times scammers will send phishing emails containing “job opportunities” to students that offer high wages, flexible scheduling, and other enticing qualities. Many people get caught up in the excitement of receiving such an offer and will give the sender all the requested information without much second thought. So, how do you know what is and is not a scam? Let’s review this email for clues that it is a phishing email:

  • Generic greeting
  • Unidentified university affiliation
  • High pay and low hours
  • Poor grammar
  • Request for A LOT of personal information
  • Request for illegal information
    • *Employers are not able to request information that may be used to discriminate against potential candidates. Some include but are not limited to age, sex, and race.
  • Signature contains no identifying information

Though this is only one example of a job scam, most phishing messages have similar qualities that make them easy to spot. Visit our cybersecurity webpage and watch our newest YouTube video for more information on how to spot scammers!