Email Scam Alert: Fake Job Offers and Gift Cards

January 15, 2020 |


As we start the new semester, this is a time when phishing scams are particularly threatening to the University community. A couple of recent scams we are seeing involve emails from cybercriminals pretending to offer jobs or asking people to purchase gift cards.

Both scams ask you to give money or make a purchase. Real job opportunities or offers will never ask you to make a purchase in advance. If you receive a request that looks like it's from a fellow student or instructor asking for a gift card purchase, please consider reading more below on how to identify a scam. Consider talking to what looks like the requestor in person to confirm the request.

Learn more about both scams from trusted resources:


How Do I Spot the Scam? #BeCyberAware! 

These phishing emails may appear very similar to legitimate University email communications, but don’t be fooled! In general, here are a few things you can look for in order to help distinguish real from fake: 

  • Check the email address. Official University communications come from email addresses that end with Emails from other addresses, such as Gmail or Yahoo, are not official and could be a phishing scam. 

  • Look for errors in spelling or grammar. Sentences that don’t make sense or that contain mistakes are an easy giveaway that an email is not from a legitimate source and could be a phishing scam. 

  • Be wary of anyone asking for personal information. Official emails from the University will never ask you to provide personal information through email. If the sender asks you to share your password, for example, chances are it is a phishing scam. 


I Received a Phishing Email – Now What? Report It! 

If you suspect that you’ve received a malicious email, don’t interact with it – just report it! You can help protect the rest of the University by alerting our information security team of any possible threats. Send the suspicious email as an attachment to to have our team evaluate it. We will take the proper steps to block it if needed. Or, try using the new "report message" option in MavMAIL.




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