What makes this a phishing message?
This very simple, but effective, targeted phishing scam used the name of an actual Berkeley professor to send out a call for research assistant work, with the intention of stealing money from the victims.
There are a few clues that the message is a forgery:
- The criminal is sending from a gmail.com account instead of an @berkeley.edu address
- a sample of the emails used:
- The criminal also used several different subject lines including:
University of California
University of California Berkeley
ONLINE ASSISTANT IS NEEDED $500 WEEKLY!
VACANCY $400 WEEKLY
Re: RA position
Re: Research position
Re: Student RA Application
Urgent Reply Is needed
- If you receive an email containing a message that you did not expect, especially with words like "Urgent" or "Response Needed" do not engage.
- If the email is unsolicited and offers money, do not engage.
- If you are ever unsure if an email is legitimate, please reach out to email@example.com
If you have received one of these messages and shared correspondence with the scammer, we recommend that you cease correspondence immediately and contact UCPD if there have been any financial transactions.
University of California, Berkeley. Dept English urgently requires the
services of student research assistants to work remotely and get paid $
The research position is open to students from any department of the
institution and tasks can be carried out remotely.
To proceed with the application process, contact Dr.Ian Duncan on
(415)763-5246* via text message stating your full name, email address,
year of study, and department to receive the job description and further
University of California, Berkeley
*Alternate phone number used:
contact Dr. Ian Duncan on (408) 389-0149