Phony Job Scams Targets College Students

  
     
February 26, 2016

Scammers are targeting college students with fake jobs. They blast solicitations to college email accounts promising positions with flexible hours and good pay. If you are in college or know a student, be sure to watch out for these phony job offers.

How the Scam Works:

You receive a message to your college email account. It is encouraging you to apply for a job, and the position sounds great for students. One scam message read: "The position offers flexibility that allows you to choose your hours during the day to avoid conflicts between classes or other business."

Don't bother sending your resume, though. It's a scam. If you reply to the email, the con artists will offer you the position. (First, they may do a short interview over email or an online chat.) Then, they will send a check for your first "assignment." You will be instructed to keep a portion of the money and send the rest to other scam agents. Unfortunately, the check is fake, and you will responsible for any money withdrawn against it.

Job scams often use the names of legitimate businesses. But in this recent wave, targets reported being contacted by fake companies as well. However, in one instance, only the job position was provided: administrative assistant.

How to Spot an Employment Scam:

  1. Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers take advantage of this.
  2. If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check the real company's job page to make sure the position is posted there.
  3. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.
  4. Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him/her wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers.
  5. Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training. This information can then be used for identity theft, so be absolutely certain before you share.


For More Information

Read more about the recent spate of job scams in this alert issued by the BBB Serving Greater Cleveland.

To find out more about other scamsor to report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.