Dustin Steinhoff, News Editor
Scammers and phishers are targeting University of Missouri-St. Louis students through fake emails claiming they are offering campus jobs or pretending to be in a position of power in order to access their bank account.
A common tactic scammers use is sending an email saying something along the lines of, “Something is wrong with your account, please log in to fix it.” Although they are common, people are fooled by them on a daily basis. If the scammer is effective in doing this with an UMSL student, then many other students will/may receive a similar email.
“Once someone falls for it, they have an in into our email system through that student’s account so they can start sending it to every student really fast,” Information Security Officer Mark Monroe said.
According to Monroe, there have been a couple of different fake job/internship or assistantship scams. They are usually sent through email and ask the student for their resume and other personal information that they can put to use later. These scams can also differ in three ways.
One fake job/internship or assistant scam involves scammers sending checks to a student. The student deposits them and they have the student do a money order to a different or foreign bank with part of the money and have the student keep the rest. This can go on for some time until the student is contacted by the police or FBI because it all gets linked to the student from where ever the scammer is stealing the money.
A second kind of fake job/internship or assistant scam is similar to the previous, except it does not last long, because the checks bounce, and the bank informs the student. If the student has withdrawn all the cash already, this leaves their account in the negative.
A third kind of scam involves the scammer obtaining the students personal information from the application they sent in. The scammer asks for the student’s banking information so they can direct deposit their paychecks. The scammers then use this information and the student’s personal information to empty their bank account.
In addition to these scams, UMSL and other college students and faculty have been experiencing are known as CEO style scams. These scammers will change the display name of the email to impersonate the leader of a department. The scammer, attempting to disguise themselves, will then ask the student or faculty member to make a money transfer or buy gift cards.
As the new semester begins, Monroe and others in the Information Security department noticed an increase in the number of scams being reported. Monroe attributes this uptick to scammers trying to take advantage of new students and faculty members.
“There are so many new faculty, staff and students who do not necessarily know what should look real versus what should not look real,” Monroe said.
Students wanting a campus job are advised to visit Career Services and not be fooled by the fake job scam as well as ensure all emails regarding account and financial information are signed by an UMSL employee.