4 email scams to be on the lookout for

Cybercriminals cast wide nets with phishing tactics, hoping to drag in victims. After you receive any message you weren’t expecting, remember to stop, take a moment and think before you click. 

Here are four common scams you may see in your inbox:

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

  • 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 will 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 on 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 — often posing as a person in a leadership position — claims they are caught in a meeting, asks you to buy 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. 

 phishing infographic

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.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone stay safe and protected when using technology. While cyber security can seem overwhelming, this month Information Resources & Technology is focusing on simple steps you can take to defend your online life. Visit go.rowan.edu/ncsam for more tips.