Consumer Alert: College students being targeted in job scam
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - With more people out of work, finding a job may be more difficult.
So, when an e-mail shows up with an easy officer, it might seem enticing.
College students are the latest target of job scammers, and the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin is giving some tips on how to keep you or your college student safe, and how to avoid the scams.
“Now is about the time of year where their e-mail inbox is inundated with fake job offers. They may look like they’re coming from the school, from financial aid, or a professor, or the college employment office. But typically, in these work at home type of scams, they’re not, they’re just somebody who’s promising a lot of money for very little work. The red flags of the scam are that things proceed very quickly. There’s never a formal interview. The student never talks to the employer in person, and usually things are done over e-mail and then things just kind of start to get weird. They’re asked for bank account information or social security number, or they’re sent some kind of check before work even started,” said Susan Bach of the Wisconsin BBB.
Bach adds there are certain type of jobs that should be red flags.
“Jobs like mystery shopping scams are very common among students. Jobs where they’re instructed to receive packages and then reship them overseas. Typically items that are in those packages are stolen merchandise, or merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards or things like that. Often times, a red flag is they’re supposed to purchase gift cards, maybe they’re testing payment system of Walmart or Western Union - with a counterfeit check that they received. Then they’re asked to send those gift card numbers or read the numbers over the phone. Those are the common scams that we see,” said Bach.
Bach goes on to say people in their 20′s are falling victim to this type of scam, not just older people.
“People in their 20′s, this is the most common target for employment scams, and the people who lose the most money. Another piece of advice - just because it comes into your college e-mail box, doesn’t mean it’s been approved by your college, sanctioned by your college, or even that it’s been filtered through your spam filter. They’re just randomly sending and hoping that somebody bites,” adds Bach.
Officials say to make sure you do research on the company, and find out if it has a professional website, as well as contact information.
You’re also advised to search online for what others are saying about their experience.
If you’re ever unsure, you can always check with the BBB, and if you think you’ve been a victim, to report it.
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