Email scheme uses job offer to install malware, steal personal information


It seems like a dream come true: a job offer sitting in your email inbox.

But experts say beware, because it could be a trap.

A simple click of a mouse could be yet another way thieves are trying to steal your personal information.

“Essentially criminal hackers are sending out fake job notices letting you know that ‘I found you on LinkedIn’ or ‘I found you on Facebook and we’ve got the perfect job for you,'” said Greg Dunn, CEO, Hawaii Better Business Bureau.

The Hawaii Better Business Bureau warns the email looks authentic with a company logo and letterhead. All you have to do is click on a link to a Google Docs in order to view the job description and salary offer.

“So you unknowingly click on the link. It takes you to Google Docs. It opens up a document that then installs malware on your computer,” Dunn explained.

But the trick is that that link that you clicked on wasn’t to the Google Docs website, but instead a fake one designed to spy on and steal your username and password. Now the thieves can access your account.

The BBB says the scheme uses various file-sharing programs as a way to get you to click on those infected links.

Last week alone, they received five reports from people who got similar emails.

If you’ve clicked on the link, immediately change all your passwords.

“Once they have your personal information and your contact list, then all the people on your contact list will be next up to get that same email,” Dunn said.

The BBB says don’t click on links or open files from unfamiliar emails.

If you think you’ve received a job offer, pick up the phone and call the company to verify if it’s true.

And be cautious of generic emails, since schemers often include little or no information in their emails.

If you have a consumer concern or if you’re interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also send an email to

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