Student Job Postings Scams

Don’t Fall for Fake Student Job Postings

Jobs that sound too good to be true should raise a red flag for any college student. Fake job postings are being sent via unsolicited emails to student accounts and are even showing up in online job listing sites. You may receive job postings with titles like “work from home” or “part-time job offer,” sometimes appearing to be legitimate and may even seem to be from other St. John’s community members, offering a few hundred dollars a week in pay.

The attackers are preying on students who are looking for ways to make a few extra bucks. They gain a student’s trust by sending a check in the mail which turns out to be fraudulent or is cancelled a few days after deposit. These fake job postings are attempts to steal your personal information and to try to steal your money or bank account information.

Common Job Scams Targeting College Students

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Envelope stuffing from home
  • Repackaging or shipping from home
  • Issuing checks/check processing from home
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • A variety of scams where a student is asked to pay for certification, training materials, or equipment with promise of reimbursement

Over-payment Scams

Watch out for over-payment scams. These are often posted as a bookkeeper, personal assistant, administrative assistant, etc., to assist in processing checks or mystery/secret shoppers. The “company” sends a check to the “assistant” (student), who is then responsible for taking their “salary” out of the check and wiring the remainder of the money back to the “company.” These checks are fraudulent and can leave you out thousands of dollars and facing criminal charges.

Suspicious Emails or Job Postings

Beware if the email or job posting:

  • Does not indicate the company name
  • Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name
  • Does not give the employer contact information-title of person sending the email, company address, phone number, etc.
  • Offers to pay a large amount for almost no work
  • Offers you a job without ever interacting with you
  • Asks you to pay an application fee
  • Wants you to transfer money from one account to another
  • Offers to send you a check before you do any work
  • Asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers
  • Asks for copies of personal documents
  • Says you must send payment by wire service or courier
  • Offers you a large payment for allowing the use of your bank account—often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • Sends you an unexpectedly large check
  • They ask you to send them the following information in email:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Zip Code
    • Birthday
    • Gender
    • Copy of Your ID or Driver’s License
    • Cell Phone Number

No legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back. DO NOT provide any personal information especially Social Security numbers or financial information!