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Beware COVID Relief Scam targeting SUNY students

At the start and the end of every semester we see an uptick in email scams targeting the campus.

There is a new email scam circulating at other campuses - ostensibly from SUNY - offering $4,000 in COVID releif funds to students - with a form that asks for your SSN and a Credit Card number…

Any online form asking for your SSN and credit card information should immediately SET OFF WARNING SIRENS AND STROBE LIGHTS inside your head.

Many other scams are fake Employment Opportunities. The giveaway is often that it sounds too good to be true: “This employment only takes about an hour per day and 3 times a week with a $600.00 weekly pay.” If you stop and think about it, nobody is handing out $200/hour that easily, or paying that much to walk thier dogs, or whatever variation on a simple task they are using. Beyond your “too good to be true” sniffer, many still contain obvious language or logic flaws.

Email scams are increasingly sophisticated and well constructed. Logos look real, they can be well written, and they use messages that appeal to our better instincts on climate action, social justice, or even our love of dogs.

The scammers send tens of thousands of these messages - because one or two people will fall for it and respond. By responding to the scammer, you just narrowed the field from 10,000 down to 1 victim - you.

Often these scams end with a simple request for your phone number or a text message. The scammer will then give you their individual attention and interact with you by text, email or phone - usually from overseas - though you won’t know that.

Don’t fall for email Scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the language or logic is mangled, watch out. If you didn’t initiate the interaction, or you don’t know the sender is really who they say they are, watch out.

Always Think Twice before you Click.