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Potential Scam Warning!

09/02/2017

A number of UK universities have received a fraud alert from the British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) about a potential scam so we thought it best best to put out a warning.

Please see below for more details about the scam. Please note that we will never email you directly with individual jobs in the same way as the scam below.

Fraudsters are recruiting members of universities (either staff or students) to receive fraudulent funds, and act as ‘money mules’ – before then passing the funds on to the fraudster. This serves to make it harder to detect the fraudster, and the final destination of the funds.

Initially, the fraudster hacks into organisations’ financial and payroll systems, and changes the bank account details used to pay suppliers and staff. This may be done by sending phishing emails and tricking people to log onto false web-pages, in order to discover their passwords.

The fraudster also recruits mules by emailing ‘job adverts’ to staff and students for either ‘book keepers’, ‘fund-processors’ or similar, for a set fee (e.g. £200 / week), on behalf of an ‘Art Collector’, or other obscure role. Eager respondees are then asked to provide their CV, email address, bank account details (for payment), and other personal details, following which they will receive fraudulent funds in their bank account.

The “mules” are then called or emailed by the fraudster and asked to forward the funds on to the fraudster’s accounts. The funds to be transferred are different amounts than those received, and often paid into multiple or different accounts. Of course once the fraudster has the personal and bank details of the ‘Mule’, these can often be used or sold on for other fraudulent purposes. The mules may also face criminal prosecution for fraud and money laundering, and action in the civil courts to recover lost funds. An example of the false adverts is:

From: University Xx Jobs

 Subject: Part Time Book Keeper Needed

 Date: 2nd February 2017 at 12:28:58 GMT

 To: Wendy J—-

 Reply-To:  xxx@xxx.ac.uk<mailto:xxx@xxx.ac.uk

 Hello,

 A part time book keeper or funds processor is needed by a private Asian Art collector. This work takes 1hr daily from the convenience of your home/school; it pays £200 weekly, a cumulative of £800 after 4 weeks. Applicants do not need a prior accounting knowledge as they will be trained on various work ethics.

 Can you take record of cash flows via excel spread sheets? If yes, then apply immediately and fill this opening.

 Attach a letter of interest as well as resume highlighting past experiences gathered over time.

 Send your email to the employer directly at:  xxx@gmail.com 

 First Come! First Serve!

 Resources and Employment Bureau

 University of Xx

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