'Job vacancy' email scam targets UAB students



A number of UAB students and employees have received scam emails tempting them with potential job offers.

The emails, with the subject line “job/internship vacancy,” come from multiple senders who are impersonating legitimate companies or brands.

The text of the message is similar to the following:

“Your resume was forwarded to me from your school career centre in response to an employment/job vacancy. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience if you are still looking for an opportunity to pursue.”

These email scams are likely intended to try to steal personal information or may even try to get the recipients involved, unintentionally, in illegal activity.

Students and employees should be wary of any unsolicited emails gauging your interest in a job — especially if you did not apply to the company.

Hover over the email address to check that the sender name matches the email address. Find other tips for detecting phishing emails in the video above.

If you receive a similar email, you should report it to UAB IT’s information security team by clicking the “PhishMe Reporter” button in Outlook, or by forwarding it to phishing@uab.edu.

According to the FBI, such employment email scams commonly target college students.


  • Scammers post online job advertisements soliciting college students for administrative positions.
  • The student employee receives counterfeit checks in the mail or via e-mail and is instructed to deposit the checks into their personal checking account.
  • The scammer then directs the student to withdraw the funds from their checking account and send a portion, via wire transfer, to another individual. Often, the transfer of funds is to a “vendor,” purportedly for equipment, materials, or software necessary for the job.
  • Subsequently, the checks are confirmed to be fraudulent by the bank.


  • "You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay."
  • "I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training."
  • "Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies."


  • The student's bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity and a report could be filed by the bank with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency.
  • The student is responsible for reimbursing the bank the amount of the counterfeit checks.
  • The scamming incident could adversely affect the student’s credit record.
  • The scammers often obtain personal information from the student while posing as their employer, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.
  • Scammers seeking to acquire funds through fraudulent methods could potentially utilize the money to fund illicit criminal or terrorist activity.


  • Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or wiring portions to other individuals or accounts.
  • Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses.
  • Forward suspicious e-mails to the college’s IT personnel and report to the FBI. Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.
  • If you have been a victim of this scam or any other Internet-related scam, you may file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov and notify your campus police.
Last modified on July 14, 2017