These fake job ads threaten to steal students’ money and data

Students have become a prime target for hackers and cyber scams. In any case, this is what the latest report from computer security researchers at Proofpoint reveals.

With the democratization of telework, scams and hacking attempts have exploded over the past two years. Recently, we also learned that the owners of cryptocurrencies were particularly targeted by these cyberattacks. This is called cryptojacking, malware developed to mine cryptocurrency by exploiting victims’ PCs. Credit card scams are also popular, such as spoofing, which consists of pretending to be the bank of a target to extract money from them.

However, Proofpoint computer security researchers highlight another part of the population, which has also become a prime target for hackers: students looking for a job. These experts count no less than 4000 email scams per day. “These types of threats can cause people to lose their life savings or trick them into participating in a criminal operation without knowing it,” Proofpoint alert.

Also read: Hackers hide malware in YouTube video descriptions

web student scam
Credits: Proofpoint

Hackers pose as recruiters to scam students

The procedure is simple. Cybercriminals impersonate recruiters and employers and attempt to lure students into their nets with bogus job offers. Quite often, they exploit the promise of working from home to collect personal data, steal money or else trick victims into participating in illegal activities without their knowledge despite money laundering. Which obviously can end badly for the victim, who can be prosecuted for having participated in a criminal enterprise.

Among the work-related threats identified by Proofpoint, almost 95% target educational institutions, mainly high schools and universities. While most targets are in the United States, hackers occasionally target European and Australian entities. Why these sites in particular? First, international students may not recognize the telltale signs of a scam email, while rising inflation and the exorbitant cost of education in the US strain student finances, making the promise of quick money more attractive. .

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, students who are victims of these scams lose an average of 3000 euros. In its press release, Proofpoint shared several examples of fraudulent job offers such as this position of personal assistant for UNICEF or modeling jobs for fashion brands like Zaful and Fashion Nova.

web student scam
Credits: Proofpoint

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