June 25, 2024

8th February 2024

A sculpture of a lion at Purdue Northwest campus

Dear Members of PNW,

We have recently received a report from our Campus Security and the Dean of Students’ Office regarding a new incident of email scam, where another PNW student has fallen victim.

There is a pattern of students being specifically targeted with fraudulent job adverts, pretending to be offering opportunities for research assistants or internships, either at PNW or online. These offers generally highlight the perks of remote work, coupled with significantly high wages. The emails are made to appear legitimate by the usage of genuine names of PNW faculty or staff members.

The usual modus operandi of these fraudsters is to ask their victims to send them money by giving them phony checks with instructions that a share of the deposited amount must be returned through a money transfer app.

Be on the alert for telltale signs of such commonplace scams:

  • Promising highly rewarding salaries for remote work with no need for specific training or qualifications.
  • Deceptive usage of names of actual faculty or staff but using free email services like Gmail instead of official @pnw.edu addresses, for communication.
  • Using authentic faculty or staff names but contact numbers are either toll-free or from out of state, rather than using emails for communication.
  • Instructions to immediately transfer money using a payment app, gift card, or Western Union as soon as a check given by the fraudsters is deposited.

Any such suspicious emails should be immediately forwarded to abuse@pnw.edu. It’s crucial that the senders are not contacted. Should you have interacted with the sender or incurred a financial loss due to such a scam, you must report it to the Office of the Dean of Students immediately through dos@pnw.edu or call University Police at (219) 989-2220 (Hammond) or (219) 785-5220 (Westville).

Authentic job vacancies for student job opportunities within the University can be found by selecting “student employment opportunities” on the University’s job posting portal, or by reaching out directly to individual departments.

Internships and other job openings outside the University can be located through the PNW Career Center’s listings resource page or by visiting Handshake.

For a deeper understanding of phishing and other forms of online fraud, kindly refer to the Information Services “Don’t Take the Bait” page.

Yours sincerely,

Colin FewerColin Fewer

Dr. Colin D. Fewer
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs & Dean of Students