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There are an increasing number of emails being sent by fraudsters who are pretending to be the “financial department” from a college or university, the Federal Trade Commission said in a blog post.
Some of the phishing emails ask students to click a link in order to get information on their economic impact payments, for which they are not eligible. The links require students to sign in with their university ID and password. Clicking the link can allow malware to be installed on a device, and it can allow criminals to access your personal information.
The FTC advises students who are unsure about an email to either contact the sender or to look up their phone number or website themselves.
The agency also says spelling and grammar mistakes can be a dead giveaway that an email is fraudulent. Oftentimes, other information is inaccurate, like a department name (i.e. Financial Department instead of Financial Aid Department). By giving the email a closer read, you might be able to determine if it was sent by a scammer.
The coronavirus pandemic has given thieves opportunities to go after vulnerable Americans. For example, the IRS has repeatedly warned about scams related to economic impact payments.
The FBI has said there are individuals setting up phishing emails pretending to be charities and crowdfunding campaigns.
Additionally, counterfeit tests and personal protective equipment have also been peddled by scammers.