University of Sydney Issues Advice on Avoiding Scams

The University of Sydney has issued advice to help students and staff avoid falling for social engineering attacks.

“Academic scams can involve scammers claiming to work for reputable tutoring companies affiliated with the university and tricking you into engaging their services for writing or completing your university assignments,” the university says. “These scammers, commonly known as 'contract cheating companies', may try to cheat you out of your money, personal details or education.”

The following signs may be associated with these types of scams:

  • “You're contacted via email, text or social media by someone claiming to be from a tutoring company affiliated with the university.
  • “They claim to offer specialized exam support and guaranteed high results.
  • “They offer their services to provide answers or complete your assignments for you.
  • “They demand you pay a fee up-front in return for completing your assignment.
  • “You're asked to provide proof of enrollment (i.e. your Unikey, SID, letter of offer) to access their services.”

Scammers can also target students with phony offers of employment, which may seem too good to be true.

“Jobs and employment scams involve scammers tricking you into handing over your personal details or money by offering you a 'guaranteed' way to make fast money or secure a high-paying job,” the university says. “Scammers may also lure you into meeting with them in person, claiming to offer or help you secure a job.”

Additionally, scammers may target students who are looking for places to rent off-campus.

“Rental property scams can involve scammers tricking you into paying a bond, deposit or rent up-front for a property that doesn't exist, taking your immigration forms, visa or passport away as 'deposit,' tricking you into paying higher rental rates or being deceptive about how a property looks or the features it has,” the university says.

New-school security awareness training can teach your employees to follow security best practices so they can thwart phishing and other social engineering attacks.

The University of Sydney has the story.