Yet another elaborate scam has made its way to OSU. This time, students are promised a job and tricked into sending money to strangers.
“The Oklahoma State University Police Department is investigating reports of a scam involving the promise of an internship. Students report receiving an email that appears to come from an OSU email address or one very similar.” said the campus warning that was sent to students’ OSU emails.
In the newest campus scam, students are promised an internship from an email address that has masked itself as one coming from the school. The “employer” asks students for personal information after providing details about the internship including hours and pay. After students comply and give the sender various pieces of information such as a non-OSU email address, cell number and address, they are congratulated for being hired for the internship.
Once the “hiring process” is complete, students are sent a check, in some cases, multiple checks, and asked to go ahead and deposit the money into their bank accounts. The scammer then informs them that they can keep a portion of the money for their trouble, but to send the remaining amount to a third party by way of a money app such as Venmo or Cash App.
“The checks emailed to the student bounce, and the student loses the money they sent from their account to the third party.” the warning said.
The ongoing criminal activity has created a realm of worry for many students who fear that they may be targeted and are beginning to find it hard to decipher the truth. Kate Shaw, a sophomore majoring in early childhood education, eluded to the distrust that that can place in a real promotional email from real internship opportunities.
“It makes it hard for me to trust it when the real ones do come,” Shaw said, “I could potentially lose out on an internship.”
Allie Parker, a sophomore majoring in psychology and pre-law, bring up the impact that this has and may continue to have on the student body.
“It’s just kind of alarming because you don’t want that to happen but there are so many people it has affected.” Parker said, “It’s a little bit concerning, I hope that I don’t get targeted.”
The OSUPD continues to investigate ongoing scams, including one that started last semester where a caller pretends to be OSU Police Cheif Leon Jones and ask for personal information and sensitive content.
OSU would like students to know that the school does not check emails and would never ask a student to send money to an outside party. If you receive an offer that seems too good to be true, feel free to call the university or OSUPD at 405-744-6523 to see if it’s a real offer or a scam.