If nothing else, cybercriminals are consistent. As we approach the holiday season, cybercriminals use emails promising well-paying jobs requiring minimal effort to entice people looking to make a little extra cash. The emails will often appear to be from a student, staff, or faculty member on campus to help build trust in the email’s information. Unfortunately, these scams can cost a person large sums of cash or even their identity. To avoid becoming a victim of these email scams, always watch for the following.
- Unsolicited: If the email suggesting you can make a thousand dollars a week showed up in your mailbox unsolicited, it is a scam. Cybercriminals will send thousands of emails to unsuspecting recipients hoping just one will fall for the scam. It is great to believe a dream job can drop into an inbox, but it is improbable a reputable company will offer employment when you haven’t applied for the job.
- Generic: Logically, if a company is offering employment, they will know your name. But, if that email begins with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “Dear Student,” it should set off alarms. Likewise, the job description will be generic as well, offering a position “writing detailed reports” or “tracking item orders.”
- Grammar and spelling mistakes: A legitimate job offer from a honest company is very unlikely to have spelling and grammar errors. An email with a significant number of spelling and grammar mistakes is an excellent indicator of a scam.
- How Much?: Although the email offering $500, $750, or $1000 a week for 4 to 8 hours of work seems like a dream job, anything that looks too good to be true generally is.
- Don’t Respond or Click: If the email includes a link – don’t click on it. Never respond to a scam email. It is best to delete it and not engage the sender.