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There has been an increase in scams targeting students with fake jobs promising flexible hours and good pay. The following information should help you identify and avoid these scams.
How a typical employment scam works:
A student applies for an online job posted by a scammer, usually out-of-state. When payday rolls around, the scammer tells the student they will receive a cashier's check for more than what the student has earned. The scammer offers to "trust" the student and asks that they repay the difference with a wire transfer. The student cashes the cashier's check and then wires the scammer the balance.
Even though the bank cashes the check, it is later discovered to be a fake and does not clear. The student now owes the bank the full value of the check. Remember, no legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back.
What can I do?
Be skeptical. If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, it could be a scammer trying to get personal information from you.
Research the employer. Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page? Note: work-study jobs may not be advertised on employer websites.
Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
Beware if an email or job posting:
How can I report a scam?
To report a scam, you can file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission here:
A video on how to report a scam can be found here: