Email scam targets students

Published

Austen Shakespeare
Reporter

Students at Glasgow University have been receiving fraudulent emails containing job offers. These emails appear to be from the University, but are an attempt by the sender to acquire and illegally transport money.

Victims are offered job titles such as “fund manager” and “book-keeper” and are then asked to submit bank details so that the money can be held in their account, which will be moved at a later date.

The defrauded parties may become the subject of identity fraud if they have sent CVs or passport details.

The University’s Internal Communication department issued a warning email containing information on how students can avoid email scams.

The warning states that the University will never send an email about “specific job opportunities unless you have signed up for them via the Careers Service.”

The University also warns students never to give out personal details such as bank details, birth certificates, GUID usernames and passwords, or passport details, regardless of whether the email sender or organisation looks credible or not.

The University also advises that if students have fallen victim to this then they should contact the IT helpdesk. Moreover, students affected should change their GUID passwords, and seek the advice of Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Data published by Action Fraud and the National Intelligence Bureau claims that between January and December of 2015, there were 8,000 reports of scam emails a month. According to Action Fraud, this adds up to 96,669 people across the UK who reported receiving scam emails.

The crime reporting centre gives advice on how to recognise fake emails. If the email contains spelling and grammatical errors, the text is contained within an image or if there is a hyperlink connecting to a fake site, then it should be avoided. The centre also advises being wary of emails received from companies you were not expecting to be contacted by.

This is not a new phenomenon for students. The BBC reported that similar phishing scams targeted students last year, offering sham bursaries.

The BBC reported that The University of Glasgow had “advised students to ignore the email” last year.