from: Better business office
Posted: 09/18/2021 / 8:25 AM CDT
Updated: 09/18/2021 / 8:25 AM CDT
During this back-to-school period, many college students are looking for flexible part-time employment to cover their school expenses. If this describes you or a student in your life, watch out for scams. BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker) has received reports of employment difficulties posing as professors and university departments.
How the scam works
You will receive an email on your school email address asking you to apply for a job. The message seems to have come from your school’s employment service, the student union, or even a specific professor. The position – it could be anything from pet sitting to secret shopping – sounds perfect for a college student. The work is easy, flexible and offers excellent pay.
When you reply to the message, things get strange. The “employer” will hire you without an interview. Then they’ll send you a check with instructions to cash it before you’ve ever done any work. You will be instructed to use this money to purchase gift cards, money orders, prepaid debit cards, or other supplies that you might need for your new job. Part of the purchase should be sent to your new employer. The rest of the money is your payment.
However, the check is a fake – information your bank will give you a day or two after the deposit was made. Any money you send to your “employer” is gone forever.
How to Avoid Employment Fraud
- Do your research. Before you say yes to a job, do some research about the company you’re looking to hire. Does the company have a professional website and legitimate contact information? Look for what others are saying about their experience with this company.
- Beware of red flags. Scammers often send emails with lots of typing and grammar errors. They offer to hire you without an interview and even pay you before you even get any job done. None of these are reputable company conduct.
- Pay attention to these sentences and descriptions: Scam reports often include the phrases “Telecommuting OK”, “Get Started Now” and “No Experience Required”. Words such as “forwarding parcels”, “returns”, “money transfers”, “money transfers” and “agreements with foreign agents” should also be seen as warning signs.
- Always be careful with home work, package returns, and secret buyer locations. A company that sends you items on someone else’s behalf and then asks you to resend them ask yourself – why don’t they just do it themselves? As a re-shipper, you could also forward stolen goods and become an accomplice in a crime.
- Ask questions. If you want to work from home, you need to do your research. The FTCs Business opportunity rule has safeguards in place to ensure you have the information you need to know if a home work opportunity is a risky business. As a rule, sellers must give you a unilateral disclosure document that provides important information about the opportunity. Use the information in the disclosure document to verify the seller’s information. Find out as much information as possible about the position before accepting the offer.
- Never send money to strangers. Never send funds in the form of cash, checks, gift cards, or wire transfers to someone you don’t know or don’t know. No legitimate company will ask you to pay them to get a job.
- Do not enter or confirm a PII. In this situation, never give or confirm your personal information such as your social security number, bank or credit card number by email or telephone.
For more informations
For more information on preventing employment fraud, see BBB.org/EmploymentScam. You can also find valuable information at BBB.org/AvoidScams. If you have been the victim of employment fraud, report it on the BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your experience can help others spot suspicious behavior and stop scammers. To find a company you can trust, visit BBB.org.
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