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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Phishing for opportunities: UF students still face email scamming in 2019

Meleny Vega received an email to her UF account the summer before college offering her a job paying $30 an hour.

The 18-year-old UF applied physiology and kinesiology freshman grew suspicious of the office assistant job when she saw it asked for her Social Security number and that it came from a fake professor.

“If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is,” Vega said.

UF Information Technology is not sure how many students fall for these scams or who the scammers are, but scammers often get lists of students’ emails from hacked websites, said Avi Baumstein, a UF senior information security analyst.

“Email lists stolen from hacked websites are wonderful for scammers because they often include names, emails and other personal details,” Baumstein said.

UFIT advises students not to go chasing after a job they didn’t apply for or request information about, Baumstein said.

Over the past five years there’s been an increase in ransomware, a software that takes users’ files and makes them impossible to recover unless the attackers get paid large sums of money, said Kevin Butler, the associate director of the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research.

Butler suggests students use password-manager applications to create a variety of passwords rather than reusing the same one across multiple sites.

“Look closely at emails that are being sent,” Butler said. “If something seems off with the way it is written, such as the grammar, be suspicious.”

Contact Lakshmi Gomez at Follow her on Twitter @lakshmigomez_.

Be cautious of employers who ask for money up front.

Examine links in emails to guarantee they are linking to a legitimate website.

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Request more information from vague job postings.

Do not provide your Social Security number or bank account information.

Reject postings that guarantee you a job.

Information from LiveCareer

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