Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Scammers are phishing for money

Photo by Cheyenne Ruch
Outside the IT Help Desk on the second floor of Thayer Hall.

Phishing emails have been surfacing in Point Park inboxes in the fall and spring semesters. Students have run into trouble deciding on the legitimacy of these emails’ contents, but emails are not the only location scammers are hiding.  


According to an Oct. 2023 article from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “Scammers are hiding in plain sight on social media platforms. One in four people who reported losing money to fraud since 2021 said it started on social media.” 


Arden Adams, a third year Theatre Arts Major, shares their experience with fraud on social media. Adams says an Instagram direct message (DM) was sent to them from a scammer who posed as an artist.  


“The artist said in the DM that they liked my profile and if they could paint a picture of me for money,” says Adams.  


Adams says the artist/scammer sent a check via DM to use as the method of payment. 

During the payment process, they were rude and verbally abusive, but Adams went through with the payment. 


“After the payment was complete my debit card froze, and the bank gave a notice that there was negative 1,500 dollars in the account,” says Adams. 


Adams says they filed a police report but heard nothing back. They tried to work the situation out with Truist Bank, but the bank never reimbursed them for the money. They are unable to have an account with Truist Bank again and had to completely close that account.  


Adams fraud was not school-affiliated, but with recent phishing emails being sent into student’s inboxes, comparable situations to Adams’ could arise.  


Devan Sonafelt, a first year human resources major, also had a run-in with a fraud email.  


Sonafelt said she received a job offer through the campus email and that she was searching for jobs at the time this email was received. 


“The school email sends out job/internship information on occasions and I thought this was one of those emails,” Sonafelt said. “The job offered was going to pay well and was on the computer answering phone calls. I thought it would be an excellent job for my busy schedule.”.  


Sonafelt applied for the job and a few days later received confirmation that she got the opportunity to work with the company. She was excited about the offer and told her friends about it over lunch.  


“My friends explained to me that the email was a scam. If my friends did not stop me, I was going to give my bank information to this company. I could have gotten my money taken,” Sonafelt said.

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