Student Employment Scams

September is College Savings Month. For many students, saving for college involves finding a job that will work with their class schedule. Scammers know this, and many attempt to take advantage of students by offering fake jobs. A list of some of the most common jobs offered by scammers include:

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Envelope stuffing at home
  • Shipping and/or repackaging shipments from home
  • Issuing checks and/or processing checks from home
  • Modeling opportunities
  • Pyramid/multi-level marketing schemes
  • Paying for products or services with promise of reimbursement
  • Babysitting and pet sitting

While these jobs are legitimate in many circumstances, they are commonly used by scammers to take advantage of others.

With that in mind, there are ways for students to differentiate between legitimate job offers and scams. To start, most student employment scams are unsolicited emails with a generic heading that do not directly address the recipient. This allows scammers to send to several individuals at once. Additionally, the job descriptions listed are often vague and do not specify the tasks the employee would be performing. It is also common to find spelling and grammar errors in fake job postings. Above all, most student job offer scams sound too good to be true. If a job poster is offering to pay much higher than other local employers for easy work that involves no experience and allows for flexible hours, it is likely a scam.

Job seekers should always research the organization before interviewing and accepting a position. Visit the company’s website and social media pages to learn more. If the job posting turns out to be a scam, visiting these pages will reveal the truth in most cases. If the posting is legitimate, then this information will help you write your cover letter and prepare for the interview.

When applying for jobs, legitimate organizations will never do the following:

  • Ask you to pay to apply
  • Offer you a job before interacting with you
  • Ask you to provide your credit card number
  • Request a reimbursement under any circumstance

If you are a job-seeking student, it is best to use legitimate job search websites and to attend career fairs to find opportunities. These outlets will give you the opportunity to interact with legitimate employers.

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