College students could be arrested for falling for work-at-home scam

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A work-at-home scam targeting college students through their school email is not only too good to be true, but it result in criminal prosecution.

The scam offers a job in a company’s payroll or human resources department, in which the student worker makes a “payroll deposit” from the company into their personal bank account. Then they transfer the money to other accounts.

“It seems like an easy job for a busy student, and you are tempted to accept the offer,” said a warning from the Better Business Bureau. The job is not only a scam, but it can actually involve the student worker in a crime.

“If you take the position, you will be assisting cyber criminals in transferring stolen money,” the BBB warning said, “If you participate, your bank account will be flagged for criminal activity and you could be prosecuted.”

“College students across the United States have been targeted,” said a warning from the FBI. “If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Work-from-home jobs as a secret shopper and generic positions advertised as “admin assistant” or “customer service representative” require extra caution, the BBB warns. On-the-spot job offers, and ads offering teleworking, immediate start or saying “no experience required” should also raise suspicion. You should also be cautions of any job that asks for your personal banking information, the BBB said.

“Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses,” the FBI warned. “Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers.” The FBI also recommended informing your university’s IT department if you get one of these scam emails.

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