The Information Security Office has been working diligently to investigate and defend UCR against a Job Offer Scam that is primarily targeting UCR students.
This is a type of email scam in which the attacker will impersonate the identity of a UCR faculty member or administrator. Using social engineering tactics, the attacker will try to trick their targeted victims into sending money or sensitive information through email. For example, these fraudulent emails may ask students to send resumes, bank account numbers, social security numbers, addresses, birthdays, research data, gift card codes, etc.
In this recent campaign targeting students, the attackers will impersonate UCR faculty and administrators and email students from Gmail accounts. The email is worded like a job offer to solicit personally identifiable information, which is then used to contact the student directly via personal email or phone to persuade the student to provide money or sensitive information, such as a social security number or bank account number.
In one recent attack the victim believed they received a virtual personal assistant job. The victim received a check and explicit instructions to deposit the check into their personal bank account to purchase gift cards on behalf of the person impersonating a UCR employer. Once the victim sent the gift card codes to the scammer the check was voided, resulting in the gift card money being deducted from the student’s own personal savings.
This kind of attack is very similar to previous Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams targeting students, faculty, and staff. As a reminder, here are some tips to prevent yourself from falling victim to these kinds of cyberattacks:
In general, ITS advises all UCR students, faculty, and staff to be wary of any suspicious emails and to always think twice before responding to any email. Please report any suspicious emails to email@example.com (see complete instructions here). To learn more about job fraud, visit the UCR Career Center’s website. For more cybersecurity tips to protect yourself, visit our website at its.ucr.edu/cybersmart.
If you are a victim of a Job Offer Scam and lost money or sent personal information to the attacker, you should file a report with UCPD. In the event you sent personally identifiable information, it is a common practice to put a Credit Lock on your credit reports with three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) to mitigate identity theft.
ITS would like to thank you for your deliberate efforts in keeping the campus secure.