OMAHA – An Olympic-themed job scam has returned to the Omaha area ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Department of Public Safety reminds students, faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to be vigilant about unsolicited email communications they may receive.
Here’s how this phishing scam works: Scammers posing as representatives from an advertising agency send an unsolicited email offering an opportunity for recipients to earn extra cash by placing advertising for the 2020 Olympic Games on their personal vehicle. Scammers phish for personal information through the so-called application process before mailing a check that alleges to cover the installation costs for the auto wrap.
Victims are asked to cash the check and immediately send payment to the auto wrap specialist who, oddly enough, only accepts payment by gift card, money order, or Bitcoin. The scam artists are hoping victims cash the check and send the money to the so-called “auto wrap specialist” before the check is returned by the victim’s bank. Even if a respondent does not cash the check, the scam-artists have already been able to acquire a victim’s personal information.
The scam looks particularly convincing as it uses the name of a real advertising company, a realistic job proposition, and an easy way to make some extra spending money.
The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker lists multiple reports of an “Olympics” scam targeting college students dating back to February 2019. One report indicated that a victim lost as much as $2,500.
If you receive offers such as these, be skeptical and always find ways to verify their authenticity. If you do believe you have fallen for this or any other scam or phishing attempt, report it as soon as possible to the NU Cybersecurity office at firstname.lastname@example.org or UNO Public Safety office.
In general, please also keep these common safety tips in mind when checking or opening suspicious emails:
- If you suspect an email as suspicious after opening it, do not respond to them.
- If you receive an email asking you to review a document or click on a link, check with the sender of the email list first, preferably via phone to make sure it is a valid request.
- Report any suspicious emails to the NU Cybersecurity office at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can verify the sender of an email by hovering your mouse over the sender's name.
The Better Business Bureau also provides advice that can protect you from many scams. You can read more on the Better Business Bureau’s website.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.