Several Campus Departments are receiving reports of email phishing attempts and job scams targeting the IWU community. This presents a great opportunity to share information about phishing, online scams, how to avoid being a victim, and what we can do to reduce or stop phishing scams.
The job scams have an attacker posing as an IWU alumni or Professor seeking to employ an IWU student via email. While seeming legitimate at first, this person is actually trying to obtain your personal information and seek financial gain and is not associated with the University in any way..
Some job scams are easy to spot while others appear legitimate. So how do you know who to trust? You can start with these basic guidelines to avoid a potential scam.
- Never give out personal information like your social security or bank account number over email or phone.
- Never take cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Fake checks are common and the bank where you cash it will hold you accountable.
- Never cash a check that comes with “extra” money. Scammers send checks that require you to deposit a check at your bank, withdraw the “extra” money as cash, and then deposit that cash elsewhere. The check will bounce and you will be held accountable.
- Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other service. Anyone who asks you to wire money is a scammer.
- Never apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country.
- Never agree to a background check unless you have met the employer in person.
- Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue.
- Be skeptical. If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, it could be a scammer trying to get personal information from you.
- Research the employer. Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page? Note: work-study jobs may not be advertised on employer websites.
- Meet face-to-face with a potential employer. An in person interview or informal chat over coffee will help you determine the employer’s intentions.Be sure to choose a public place to meet, tell someone where you are going and bring your cell phone, just in case.
- Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
Please see the following information to learn more or to file a complaint with the FBI and FTC –
Federal Trade Commission – Job Scams
Federal Trade Commission – Scam Alerts
Report Being a Victim to the FBI
File a Complaint with the FTC
Phishing is a form of social engineering. Phishing attacks use email, malicious websites, social network sites, or phone calls, to solicit personal information or money by posing as a trustworthy organization, friend, co-worker, etc. The latest email phishing attempt on our campus has an attacker posing as an IWU faculty or staff member by using an email address that looks very similar to our @iwu.edu accounts. The attacker has created @gmail.com accounts that use faculty and staff members names in a format that could easily be mistaken for an actual @iwu.edu account at first glance. For example – Tommy Titan’s IWU email account is firstname.lastname@example.org. The fake accounts being used in the phishing scheme look like email@example.com. (Notice that this is not an @iwu.edu account, but an @gmail.com account).
What to do if you receive one of these or any phishing message –
Report the phishing email –