Job Offer or Phishing Attempt?

May 28, 2021

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The summer can be an excellent time to grow through internship opportunities or gain new work experience. While it’s always exciting to receive a job offer or an invitation to interview for a position, it’s important to keep an eye out for scams. In recent years, scammers posing as hiring managers have begun targeting students and recent graduates to steal their personal information and money through several strategies. We’ve outlined some common red flags to lookout for below!

First Contact

Receiving a job interview or offer out of the blue, with no prior contact, should always raise an eyebrow – especially if the message is poorly formatted or has grammatical errors!

Do Your Research!

Next, put on your detective hat and try some Google-Fu. Research the company they are claiming to represent. Does their email and logo match what you can find on the web? Has anyone reported receiving a phishing email from this sender before? Even a search as simple as the email address and the word “scam” can potentially reveal any nefarious activity.

Too Good to Be True

A common scam that we’ve seen firsthand plays out as follows:

Your new employer is the World’s Best Boss™ who pays you in advance for your first week. However, due to a mistake, they accidentally paid you too much and ask you to send them back some of the money. Sounds a little odd, right? What could go wrong?

After you send your new employer back the extra funds, you suddenly learn that their initial check bounced! Now you’re out that initial payment and whatever you refunded to the scammer.

Take Action

If you receive a message you suspect may be job scam phishing in your Northeastern inbox, please forward it to Phishcatcher@northeastern.edu or click the Report Message button in Outlook to alert the Northeastern Office of Information Security team, who can work with you to help determine the legitimacy of the message. If you’re concerned that you may have been the target of such a phishing attack, the FTC provides a number of valuable resources with advice on the next steps to take, including reporting the event to appropriate authorities.

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