University News

OPS Warns of Continued Employment Phishing Scams

January 26, 2017

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MACOMB, IL -- That old saying 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' holds true to emails, phone calls and social media messages promising sure-fire employment and "get rich quick" opportunities. Those employment phishing scams continue to make their rounds, targeting college students across the U.S., including at Western Illinois University.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has recently issued an alert on employment scams targeting college students. Phony job opportunities are advertised via college employment websites or students' university emails. Unfortunately, according to IC3, students who take the bait suffer financial losses. For more information, visit

According to WIU Office of Public Safety Lt. Kalib McGruder, emails continue to circulate that involve "work from home" opportunities. While the University's email servers block the majority of these kinds of email, occasionally some may circumvent the spam filter and find their way into email inboxes. McGruder stressed that individuals should not provide any personal information to anyone calling or emailing with these "too good to be true offers" and also not click on any links or attempt to reply. 

"Anyone asking you to send money to get money, to cash a check you weren't expecting or asking you to provide your personal information is typically not affiliated with a reputable organization," McGruder added. "Some of these ads, requests and calls appear authentic; however, under no circumstances should you cash checks that arrive unsolicited or give out personal information, including credit card numbers, checking account numbers or your Social Security number."

According to the U.S. Secret Service, protecting yourself against fraud and identity theft is simple: notify your bank or credit card company immediately if you have lost your card; do not put your credit card number or Social Security number on checks; do not give your credit card number or other personal numbers to anyone calling on the telephone or e-mailing offering you prizes or gifts; do not give your checking account number to people you do not know, even if they claim they are from your bank; and check bank statements carefully.

Members of the WIU campus community who have fallen victim to a phishing scam should contact the Office of Public Safety at (309) 298-1949.

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