Better Business Bureau warns of fake job scam targeting college students

TULSA, Okla. — College students are heading back to school in August and scammers are taking advantage of those seeking flexible, part-time jobs.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is getting reports that con artists are impersonating professors or university departments and sadly, people are falling for it.

“Any of these scammers are going to try to use email addresses that either look like a school or look like a business,” said Amie Mitchell with the BBB.

“They’re pretty good at recreating the logos, recreating paperwork,” she continued.

The BBB said a student in New Jersey got an email appearing to be from her university’s email domain. The email said she could make $250 a week, plus $50 gas, if she put an advertisement on her car and drove her normal route. She later learned the vehicle wrap is a scam that’s been around for years.

Another student in Oregon said she signed a contract for a supposed internship. She gave them her name, address, birthday, phone number and email address. Things got suspicious after she said the company sent a $2,000 check. She tried to deposit it, but the bank told her it didn’t clear and she was likely the victim of a job scam.

“If any employer ever says ‘hey I’m going to send you a check and you can send me some money back,’ that’s a scam, automatic red flag. That is not how any reputable business works, no,” said Mitchell.

The BBB said before you say yes to any job, research the company. Do they have a professional website and legitimate contact information? Look for red flags like typos and grammatical errors. No reputable business will offer to hire you without an interview or pay you before you’ve done any work.