Watch out for e-mail scams


A recent Rowan Announcer submission by the Department of Information Resources & Technology (IRT) warned students of possible scam attempts being sent to student email accounts.

The submission states this is a commonplace occurrence early in the semester.

“Cyber criminals often step up their attacks to trick busy students into turning over their personal information at the beginning of the semester,” the submission stated.

The submission went on to list some of the common scams that Rowan students have been targeted by. This list includes job offer, gift card, sextortion and honor society scams.

Job offer scams often promise high levels of pay for part time jobs but require giving up personal checking account information and may involve a request to purchase gift cards.

Sextortion scams prey on student insecurities and claim to have recorded students who visited adult websites. The scam usually requires payment to ensure the video is not released.

A very common scam requires an invitation to an honor society in exchange for a membership fee. The organizations they purport to represent should always be searched in a web browser to evaluate the authenticity of the email.

These scams all aim to either gain the victim’s identity or get money from them. Learning the ways to avoid these scams and how to react if you receive one is important for protecting yourself and fellow students.

Assistant Director of Communications for the Division of Information Resources & Technology Erin O’Neill touted Rowan’s security awareness training in order to recognize these scams.

“Information Resources & Technology provides security awareness training from our vendor ‘KnowBe4’ to all students, faculty, and staff,” O’Neill said. “This training will teach you what to look for to determine whether an email is a potential threat and give you practical tips for protecting yourself online.”

Another way you can avoid scams is by checking the IRT’s list of known scams.

“If you receive a suspicious email, you can check [our resource] to see if it’s a scam we’ve already identified and blocked,” O’Neill said.

If you are suspicious of any emails you receive, and the sender is not identified by the Rowan list of known scams, forward the email to and they can work with you to determine if the email is fraudulent or not.

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