University of Southern California

Employment Scam Targeting College Students

Posted on by mechling

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has released an alert about ongoing employment scams targeting college students.

The scam works by advertising fake job opportunities on college employment websites or by sending fake job announcements to students via their school email accounts. If students respond to the announcements, the scammers pretend to hire the students and send them a check, which allegedly includes an advance payment and money to purchase supplies necessary for the job. The students are told to deposit the check, then purchase the required supplies from a preferred vendor via a wire transfer from their checking account. After paying for the supplies, the victims soon realize that the check was fraudulent and the vendor was part of the scam. 

Tips on how to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Never accept a job that requires you to deposit advance checks into your account or to wire cash to other individuals, vendors, or accounts.
  • Look for spelling and grammatical errors or poor use of English in emails and postings. Many of those involved in this scam are not native English speakers.
  • Forward suspicious emails to security@usc.edu.

For more information about this scam, see the IC3 Alert.

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