BBB warns of employment scams targeting college students

Scam Alerts

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Better Business Bureau warns that college students looking for part-time jobs to help with expenses may be susceptible to scams.

That’s according to a BBB Scam Tracker in which employment scams impersonating professors and university departments are on the rise.

BBB offered the following examples:

  • One college student received an email that appeared to be from her university’s email domain: “This email was saying that I could make $250 a week plus $50 for gas if I put an advertisement on my car and drove my normal route.” She later discovered that this was a vehicle wrap scam, a common job scam that has been around for a few years. 
  • Another college student reported an internship scam: “I’m currently a college student and got contacted to interview for a Finance/Accounting internship. So, I read the employment offer and everything looked real,” she said. She goes on to say that after she signed the contract (which included providing a lot of personal information), it started getting pretty weird. First, the company sent a $2,000 check to her mobile deposit, but she found out later the transfer was fraudulent. “I got scammed,” she added.

BBB says to look for red flags if a college student is hired after receiving an email from their school’s job placement office, student services department, or in some cases, a professor without an interview.

Then the scammers send you a check with instructions to deposit it before any work is done.

“You are instructed to use this money to purchase gift cards, money orders, prepaid debit cards, or other supplies you’ll need for your new job. Part of what you purchase should be sent to your new employer,” the release adds. “The rest of the money will be your payment. However, the check is a fake – a detail your bank will let you know a day or two after you deposit it. Any money you sent to your “employer” is gone for good. In addition, the scammers now have your personal information.”

BBB offered tips for college students to look out for:

  • Do your research
  • Beware the red flags
  • Never send money to strangers

Click here and here for more information.

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