Email scams have been persistently swamping the Cal Poly Pomona community’s inboxes. With more than 25 incidents reported recently, University Police is trying to raise awareness of the issue and help prevent students from falling victim.
University Police and the Information Technology (IT) Service Desk have both sent out email warnings, telling students to be vigilant of spam emails promoting false job opportunities.
These emails are typically poorly worded, lack contact information of the sender and offer unusually high wages for assistant positions.
The Poly Post published a story in late October about scammers posing as professors or other professionals offering jobs and paying students with fraudulent checks.
Sujala Matta, a second-year mechanical engineering graduate student, is a recent victim.
She responded to a job posting she found on Blackboard that advertised a part-time office assistant job that would supposedly pay $400 a week.
She reached out to the supposed professor and provided him with her personal information. He paid her with fraudulent checks to purchase gift cards for him, and eventually scammed Matta out of $1,800.
When Matta reached out to the police and her bank, the scammer could not be traced and she was told the cost of an investigation would be more than the amount she lost. She is now paying the full amount herself.
The issue of job scams has been ongoing and the number of victims at CPP is rising.
If you are unsure about the validity of an email or job posting, Matta said she encourages students to reach out for help before it’s too late.
“I trusted him without meeting him or seeing him,” she said. “Now, I’m paying back the bank in installments.”
Matta also suggested that students should contact the IT department, University Police and their bank officials if they find themselves in a potential scam.
Even discussing the offer or email with a friend can help reduce or even eliminate the chances of being scammed, she said.
“Talk to your friends about it,” Matta said. “[My friends] helped me calm down and helped me face the situation. They said they would’ve helped me if I discussed with them earlier about it.”
If you feel like you may be a victim of a scam, contact University Police and the IT Service Desk.
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