Job Scam Reporting and Resources - University of Houston
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Job Scam Reporting and Resources

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in fraudulent and illegal job scams via email or via the phone. We created this page for our students and alumni to understand how to identify a job scam, what to do if you get an email and to notify the UH community of currently known job scams.

Note: Please remember that your UH email address (@uh.edu) is publically available on the UH website directory and may increase the amount of junk mail you receive, including job scams.

If you have responded to an email regarding a job opportunity and you now suspect it to be a scam, please do the following:

  1. Notify Information Security, 832-842-4695. You will be asked to forward your PeopleSoft ID and any email or text message correspondence you have had with the scammer.
  2. To help secure your UH information please set up your PeopleSoft password security questions and then reset your PeopleSoft and CougarNet account passwords:
    • Log into AccessUH and click the myUH icon
    • Look for the option "Setup Security Questions" on the left menu
    • Set up the two questions with answers only you will know
    • Reset your myUH (PeopleSoft) and CougarNet passwords using the Password Wizard.
  3. Report the scam to the UH Police Department, 4015 Wheeler Avenue Houston, TX 77204 or by phone at 713-743-3333. Inform them that Information Security asked you to make the report.
  4. Report the scam to University Career Services.

How to identify a job scam:

  • The email is from a Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook address. Legitimate companies should email from their corporate email account. UH will not post jobs from employers that do not have corporate email accounts.
  • You are not the only recipient on the email. Legitimate companies will not send an email about a job offer to multiple people at once.
  • The email does not address you by name. The email may say your information was obtained from a job board, school database, or Career Services office. If so, they should address the email to you directly, rather than “Hello Student” or “Good Morning”.
  • The company name may be a legitimate company. To make the scam more believable the email will use the name of a legitimate company. However, the person contacting you has no relationship with the company they are claiming to work for.
  • They ask to continue the conversation by text. This makes the scam harder to document. Conversations about legitimate offers should be conducted by email.
  • They ask for personal information in an email. Legitimate job opportunities require you to apply and provide your personal information in an official application, many times on the company website.
  • The email contains grammatical or spelling errors. A very common attribute of scam emails is that they do not bother to spell check or grammar check their outgoing emails.
  • There is no contact information for the sender. Any legitimate email from a company’s Human Resources or Recruiting department should have a signature line for the send with their name, title, and contact information.
  • The email asks you to visit a non-UH website. UH will only ask you to visit the website for an official career center on campus.
If you receive an email that contains this type of information, delete it. There is no need to respond. If you ever have questions about whether or not an email is legitimate, forward it to security@uh.edu.

Never:

  • Never give out personal information like your social security or bank account number over email or phone.
  • Never take cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Fake checks are common and the bank where you cash it will hold you accountable.
  • Never cash a check that comes with “extra” money. Scammers send checks that require you to deposit a check at your bank, withdraw the “extra” money as cash, and then deposit that cash elsewhere. The check will bounce and you will be held accountable.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other service. Anyone who asks you to wire money is a scammer.
  • Never apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country.
  • Never agree to a background check unless you have met the employer in person.
  • Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue.

Always:

  • Be skeptical. If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, it could be a scammer trying to get personal information from you.
  • Research the employer. Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page? Note: work-study jobs may not be advertised on employer websites.
  • Meet face-to-face with a potential employer. An in-person interview or informal chat over coffee will help you determine the employer’s intentions.
  • Be sure to choose a public place to meet, tell someone where you are going and bring your cell phone, just in case.
  • Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.

Job Scam Scenario

A student applies for an online data entry job posted by a scammer from out-of-state. When payday rolls around, the scammer tells the student they will receive a cashier’s check, however, the value of the check will be more than what the student has earned. The scammer offers to “trust” the student and asks that they repay the difference with a wire transfer. The student cashes the cashier’s check and then wires the scammer the balance. Even though the bank cashes the check, it is later discovered to be a fake and does not clear. The student now owes the bank the full value of the check.

What to do if you receive a job scam email:

  1. Email UH University Career Services and UH Information Security. You will be asked to forward your PeopleSoft ID and any email or text message correspondence you have had with the scammer.
  2. To help secure your UH information please set up your PeopleSoft password security questions and then reset your PeopleSoft and CougarNet account passwords:
    • Log into AccessUH and click the myUH icon
    • Look for the option “Setup Security Questions” on the left menu
    • Set up the two questions with answers only you will know
    • Reset your myUH (PeopleSoft) and CougarNet passwords using the Password Wizard.
  3. Report the scam to the UH Police Department, 4051 Wheeler Avenue Houston, TX 77204 or by phone at 713-743-3333. Inform them that UIT Security asked you to make the report.
  4. Please remember that your UH email address (@uh.edu) is publically available on the UH website directory and may increase the amount of junk mail you receive, including job scams.

Further steps:

Currently known job scams:

Check this list periodically if you feel like you received a scam email. If your email is not listed but you believe it to be fraud, follow steps above.

Date of Email: Nov 11, 2019
Name of "company": Department of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)
Contact Name: Dr. Samuel Bender
Text from email:

Dear Student,

I am Dr. Samuel Bender and I work as a clinical counselor for the department of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). I provide individual and group therapy, coaching, assessment and academic screenings to support students with disabilities (physical, chronic, psychiatric, and invisible)registered with DRES. A large percentage of the students served by the mental health unit have psychiatric disabilities or co-morbid psychiatric disabilities and need mental health support to be successful at the university. In addition,many University of students with academic difficulties and no prior diagnosis are seen and assessed through the academic screening and assessment process. I also am the director of supervision, training and coordination of counseling psychology and clinical psychology graduate students of the United States who have practicums at DRES and APA-accredited school psychology pre-doctoral interns.You have received this email because you have an offer from the University Office for Students with Disabilities to work with me while we help Students with disabilities frustrated with ignorance and lack of services but as my temporary personal assistant. I care about Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Children, Civil Rights and Social Action, Education, Environment, Disaster and Humanitarian Relief, Social Services and lots more.This is a very simple employment.

You will only help me Mail letters, Make payments at Walmart and purchase some Items when needed. This employment only takes an hour a day and 3 times a week for $480 weekly.I am unable to meetup for an interview because I am currently away and helping the disabled students in Australia.

You will be paid in advance for all tasks and purchased to be done on my behalf and some of my personal letters and mails will be forwarded to your residence or nearby post office for you to pick up at your convenience. Upon my arrival we will discuss the possibility of making this a long-term employment if I am impressed with your services while I am away. My arrival is scheduled for the Last week of December, 2019.

To Apply, Please email your Full name, Address, Alternate email (different from school email) and mobile and Correspondent will reply you as soon as possible.

Best Regards.

Date of Email: Oct 17, 2019
Name of "company": Thomas Payne
Contact Name: Thomas Payne
Text from email:

Hello,

how are you doing? Are you still seeking for a part-time job? I'm contacting you because there is an open position. If you are interested in the position get back to me as soon as you can with your personal email to get started and your phone number for easy communication Work 4- 8 hours weekly and the pay is $200 on weekly basis. Warm Regards

Warm Regards.

Date of Email: Oct 4, 2019
Name of "company":Cisco Systems Inc®
Contact Name: Nathan Philips
Text from email:

Dear Student,

We got your contact through your school database and I'm happy to inform you that our reputable company Cisco Systems Inc® is currently running a student empowerment program. This program is to help devoted and hardworking students secure a part time job which does not deter them from doing any other, you just need a few hours to do this weekly and with an attractive weekly wages.

KINDLY EMAIL BACK WITH YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS IF INTERESTED IN THIS JOB POSITION.

Best Regards,

Nathan Philips
HR Manager/Consultant
Cisco Systems Inc®

Date of Email: Oct 4, 2019
Name of "company":
Contact Name: Anthony Blake
Text from email:

Hello, how are you doing? Are you still seeking for a part-time job? I'm contacting you because there is an open position. If you are interested in the position Send your personal email and mobile number for the job description to get started. Work 4-8 hours weekly and the pay is $200 on weekly basis. Will be expecting your prompt response.

Warm Regards
Anthony Blake

Date of Email: Sep 16, 2019
Name of "company": Barry Callebaut Inc.®
Contact Name: Edward Husber
Text from email:

Dear Students,

I'm happy to inform you that our reputable company (BARRY CALLEBAUT) is currently running a student empowerment program.

This program is to help loyal and hardworking students like you secure a part time work from home job which does not deter you from doing any other,

You just need a few hours to do this weekly and with an attractive weekly salary.

KINDLY EMAIL BACK WITH YOUR ALTERNATE EMAIL AND PHONE NUMBER IF INTERESTED IN THIS JOB POSITION.

Kind Regards.

Edward Husber,
HR Manager
Barry Callebaut Inc.®

Date of Email: July 24, 2019
Name of "company": CiscoSystems
Contact Name: Ryan Jacobs
Text from email:

Dear student,

We got your contact through your school database and I'm happy to inform you that our reputable company CISCOsystems® is currently running a student empowerment program.

This program is completely school oriented as it has been designed not to deter you from all school activities which is priority for you and this organization. This program is to help loyal and hardworking students like you secure a part time job with an attractive weekly salary.

TO PROCEED WITH THIS JOB OFFER, KINDLY REPLY TO THIS MAIL WITH YOUR ALTERNATE E-MAIL ADDRESS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE FULL JOB DESCRIPTION.

Best Regards,

Ryan Jacob,
HR Recruit Manager/Consultant
CISCOsystems Inc®

Date of Email: July 21, 2019
Name of "company": Elkay Manufacturing Company
Contact Name: Charles Marcus
Text from email:

“I'm very happy to inform you about the job opportunity in conjunction with your school (University of Houston ) we got your mail from your school database...our reputable company (Elkay Manufacturing Company) is running a student empowerment program.... this program is to help the hard-working student to secure a work at home job, this will not stop you from your daily works and your school activities... all you need is just an hour or two to carry out the job weekly.. your wages will be $300 USD per week...

kindly get back to us if you are interested in this job opportunity.”