Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warns college students to be aware of scams using university email accounts to offer fake employment opportunities.
The FBI has previously warned of email scams circulating around college campuses offering “work from home” opportunities.
“Many students want the chance to make money while going to school,” Morrisey said. “I applaud their initiative, but urge them to be careful and guard against anything too good to be true.”
The scammer may send students unsolicited emails offering them jobs with links to apply for the position. However that link may lead them to websites that ask for bank account numbers and other personal information claiming it is needed to be paid. The “employer” also may ask for money to be transferred to a third account.
Students put themselves at great risk of identity theft by giving away their financial information. Such schemes also can be used to launder money.
A legitimate employer would not ask for financial account information. Never accept a job that requires depositing and wiring money between different accounts.
The company and email address should be researched online before answering any offer of potential employment. Make sure both the company and the sender are legitimate.
Students should look out for obvious red flags such as improper grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. These are signs that the emails are computer generated scams. A genuine employment attorney general’s office opportunity would be professional and spell checked.
The issued this advice as part of the third annual Off to College Consumer Protection Week. To learn about consumer protection efforts in West Virginia, visit www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection.
If your identity has been compromised or you believe you have been scammed, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808. To file a report online, visit www.wvago.gov.