Job Hoax Emails: Are They Too Good to be True?
Have you ever gotten an email with a job opportunity that seems like it’s too good to be true? The pay is great, prerequisites are easily met, and the job requirements seem too easy for how much they’re willing to pay you?
This, more than likely, is a phishing scam. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, “a phishing [scam] is a form of social engineering by which cyber criminals attempt to trick individuals by creating and sending fake emails that appear to be from an authentic source, such as a business or colleague.” Phishing scams can release harmful malware onto your computer, so it’s important to know how to spot and avoid them. Here are some warning signs that could help you easily identify phishing scams…
Too Good to be True
If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Good jobs are not so easy to come by. If they offer great pay, have simple requirements that almost anyone can meet (minimum age 18, must have access to the internet, etc.), you should be wary. Typically, employers won’t contact you first.
If the email has a lot of typos or errors such as with improper spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammatical errors, it is most likely a scam. Emails from legitimate companies will rarely have these errors. If you receive an unexpected email from a company that is riddled with mistakes, this is a strong indicator of a phishing scam.
The Email Asks for Personal Information
If you receive a random email asking you for personal information such as your bank account, social security number, or login information, search the company contacting you first, before you reply or click on any links. Many times when you search a company sending phishing scams you will find that they actually do not exist!
Sense of Urgency
If you receive an email that is designed to make you panic, this could be a phishing scam. Phrases like “your account has been compromised,” or “your account will be closed unless you take action” are key indicators that this is a scam. Remember that although it may seem urgent, it will only benefit you to wait until you have more information; make sure you do your research before providing any personal information. Take a minute to consider if what they are asking for is really reasonable.
If you get an email from a company out of the blue with a link or attachment, DO NOT CLICK ON IT. These links contain malware that can cause your computer to slow down, freeze or crash; it could create new files or modify old ones; automatically run, turn off, or reconfigure programs on your computer, and even send messages or emails to your contacts. So, what it comes right down to is, ALWAYS, think before you click!
Stay up to date on the latest phishing scams by regularly reviewing the ITS Phishing page and Phish Tank: https://binghamton.edu/its/phishing
Received a phishy email? Report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.