Look out for these common scams as the end of semester nears

Criminals often use the end of a semester to step up their attempts to trick busy students and employees into turning over personal information, so be extra vigilant in the coming weeks when you receive an unexpected or suspicious email or text message. 

Some common scams that you should look out for include: 

  • Job offer scams: Job offer scams often promise good pay for part-time work.  Job offer scams often promise good pay for part-time work. This type of scam will often ask you to deposit checks into your checking account and then withdraw the funds to purchase gift cards or wire money to other accounts. The checks are later found to be fraudulent, leaving you on the hook for paying back the amount of the counterfeit checks. Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account and wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.

  • Honor society scams: These scams invite you to join an honor society for a fee. You should always investigate these groups before responding, as some of them are bogus and only looking to take your money.

  • Personal account scams: These scams claim to have impacted one of your accounts in some way. For example, you may be told your email has exceeded a set storage limit or your payroll information has changed. You will then be prompted to click on a link that will ask you to log in to take some type of action. The link will direct you to a malicious website that was built to steal your username and password. When in doubt, always check with the company or person sending the email before taking action. 
  • Disinformation scams: These scams may use fake information about current events to trick you into donating money or turning over personal data. Some scams to look out for include ones involving topics like COVID-19. As always, avoid opening attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited or suspicious emails. Also, if an attachment you open asks you to [Enable content] when you open it or make some other security downgrade, don’t do it – it’s a trick. 

  • Gift card scams: These scams often start with an email or text message that asks: “Are you available?” If you respond, the scammer — posing as a person in a leadership position — claims they are caught in a meeting, requests you purchase Amazon or iTunes gift cards on their behalf and promises to reimburse you later.

In addition to looking out for these common scams, we encourage you to take extra precaution when evaluating whether to click on a link or take another action in response to a message that has been 

marked as [EXTERNAL]. The label is applied to emails sent from non-Rowan University email addresses in order to flag potential phishing scams, most of which originate with external senders. 

Cybercriminals are always scheming up new ways to trick you into giving them your usernames and passwords, so, it’s important to know how to spot a scam. Use our tips for spotting phishing scams and malicious websites to help protect yourself, take our quick security training that provides you with skills to spot various scams and always check our list of known scams​ if you receive an email you think is suspicious. 

If you receive a suspicious email or text message, please contact the Technology Support Center at 856-256-4400 or forward the email to support@rowan.edu, and we’ll help you determine whether it’s legitimate or not.