NOTICE: Job Scams Trending at U-M

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

This notice is intended for U-M IT staff who help support faculty, staff and students.


Help spread awareness of scam emails that target students

Highly customized email scams continue to target students at U-M with offers of jobs, internships, accommodations, and more. Please be aware of these ongoing scams and share this information with your career centers, student advisors, and faculty.

Many of the scammers impersonate U-M professors and other recognizable staff by spoofing their email addresses and using publicly available directory information, such as job titles and department names, to identify themselves. One of the common factors is that the recipients of the scam emails were not pursuing the offers in the scam. 

When the recipients reply to the phishing emails, the scammers may send multiple follow up emails or text messages that attempt to get a prospective victim to deposit a fake “paycheck” and then use some of the money to make payments via non-refundable methods to a “preferred agent” (an accomplice or fake account created for the purpose of the scam). The pretext may be that the student needs to purchase equipment or supplies for the new job. When the student’s bank later finds out the check is fake, the student loses the money from the account and is left with a loss. 

The tactics used in these scams can be sophisticated and involve elaborate spoofing, such as checks sent via email that look like they are from the University of Michigan. For more examples of red flags and tactics, see Phishing Alert: Imposter Email Scams Targeting U-M Students (Safe Computing).

Scam Email Example

From: [redacted uniqname]>

Date: Fri, Apr 26, 2024 at 10:36 AM

Subject: Student Administrative Assistant (TEMP)

To: [redacted uniqname]

You have been chosen to work remotely as an understudy assistant

to professor [redacted name] on a part-time basis. For more

information, text your full name to the phone number listed in

the attached paper. 

[Redacted name of U-M professor]

Ph.D., EdD.



Questions, Concerns, Reports

Please contact ITS Information Assurance through the ITS Service Center.