BBB: Beware of fake job postings targeting college students

Posted at 9:46 AM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 11:46:44-04

As July winds down, college students are preparing to head back to school, and many may be looking for a part-time job that will work with their busy schedules. However, Better Business Bureau's Veronica Craker warns of a fake job posting that almost tricked one local student.

"We were actually tipped off by the Boise Police Department. They told us a Northwest Nazarene student came across the job posting online. The job was for a personal assistant, which is enough to give off some red flags, but the scammers used the name of a legitimate business, as a way to convince the student the job was real. Boise PD told us the job announcement was posted on multiple job boards," Craker explained.

Craker says the student figured out the job was fake after corresponding with the scammer by email.

"The student would ask specific questions about the job, but the scammer avoided those questions and kept talking about the job duties and pay. Basically, the scammer told the student they would send them a check to cover their salary and wanted them to use the remainder of the cash to purchase some items and ship them to clients. The endgame here is that the check never fully clears, but by the time the student and the bank realizes the error they’ve already mailed off items to the scammer to re-sell. Fortunately, the student never got that deep into the scam and was able to walk away," Craker said.

According to the BBB, always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as a caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep.

"Positions that don't require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. And look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the same post, it’s likely a scam," Craker advised.

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