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UNF Career services comments on scams targeting college students

Kaitlyn Bowers, Video Director

We’ve all seen them: those little signs on the side of the road starting you can make thousands of dollars a week from working from home if you just call the number. For the most part, it’s easy to brush these off as scam jobs. But sometimes, other scam jobs aren’t as easy to spot. 

Due to COVID and the rise of working from home, scam jobs have been more common than ever. In June, the Attorney General released a consumer alert specifically for college students warning of an “emerging work-from-home employment scam.” Specifically, scammers are using fake emails posing as college representatives to lure students into a fictitious job and then steal personal information. According to the report, some particularly cunning scammers will convince students to send them money after cashing counterfeit checks. 

“Unfortunately in uncertain economic times, we do see more students targeted for fraudulent employment postings,” said Scott Curry of UNF’s Career Services. “College-age students make up a large percentage of service and retail roles, which are the bulk of what has been lost in the pandemic. This makes them an especially strong target for scams since they are more likely to be recently unemployed.”

This scam in particular involves scammers sending emails offering college students administrative positions. If accepted, students are then urged to cash counterfeit checks and then send the money in order to get the job. Much of the time, the checks are confirmed as fraudulent only after the student makes the payment. 

According to Attorney General Moody’s Consumer Protection Division, students caught in the scam will often have their bank accounts closed and be held accountable for paying back the bank. This can also lead to a lower credit score for the student. 

“In short, if it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is,” said Curry. “Most recruiters who are legitimate have LinkedIn or Handshake profiles so make sure to Google the person or company to make sure that they are official.”

Beyond researching the company, students should also check to ensure the email address is legitimate. Often, scammers will use email addresses that look very similar to the real address used, so if you’re unsure, be sure to contact the company itself. Also, look for red flags such as spelling or grammatical errors. If a job is offered without an interview, it is usually a scam. 

If a student believes they have been scammed, the University Police Department can be contacted at their non-emergency phone line at (904) 620-2800 or email them at [email protected]. Curry also urges students to reach out to Career Service about these scams in order to warn their fellow students.

Career Services at UNF is also available through phone, Zoom, or email to help students find jobs and know what to look for to find the best-fitting job for them. Many jobs are also posted on UNF’s own job site, Handshake, which Career Services can assist with. 

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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