Cyber ​​criminals lure students | Pentest7

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Currently, fraudulent emails from cybercriminals trying to lure unsuspecting students with fake job offers are increasing. Cyber ​​scammers typically use this scam to pose as a recruiter or employer.

Students often despair when looking for their first job because most employers demand work experience. Cyber ​​criminals take advantage of this. Employment fraud occurs when a cybercriminal attempts to recruit a person under the pretense of a legitimate job offer. Attackers create fraudulent job offers in hopes of stealing money or personal information, or recruiting an individual to unknowingly engage in illegal activities such as money laundering.

There are many variations of this form of threat, including job offers as a carer, mystery shopper, administrative assistant, or model. Employment fraud differs from other threats such as Advanced Fee Fraud (AFF) because of the job being offered and the attacker’s ultimate outcome or goal. In the case of the former, an e-mail recipient can certainly be “hired” for a function that helps the attacker. With AFF, on the other hand, the goal of the attackers is to receive a small amount of money up front by promising financial compensation later. In employment fraud, information is collected and unsuspecting participants are integrated into a criminal network.

Fake offer from a model agency in Luxembourg Image: ProofpointFake offer from a model agency in Luxembourg Image: Proofpoint

Of the employment fraud attacks recently identified by Proofpoint, approximately 95 percent targeted email addresses from educational institutions, primarily colleges and universities. European institutions are also being targeted by criminals. Proofpoint identifies around 4,000 of these email threats every day. Most incidents are in the US, but the trend is spilling over to Europe as well.

Employment fraud usually affects individuals. And the consequences of such fraud can be very costly. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the average reported loss from this type of scam is $3,000, a lot of money for college students. In 2020, the damage caused by employment fraud in the USA even amounted to more than 62 million US dollars.

“This type of cyber threat can cause people to lose their savings or even be tricked into unwittingly engaging in criminal activity,” said Sherrod DeGrippo, VP Threat Research and Detection at Proofpoint. “They are very worrying, especially for universities. Proofpoint detects and blocks thousands of employment fraud threats weekly that could harm students and faculty.”

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