BBB Alerts Consumers and College Students to Illegal Work-From-Home Scam


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By Steve Abel – President of the Abilene BBB | March 1, 2015

BBB Alerts Consumers and College Students to Illegal Work-From-Home ScamBetter Business Bureau is alerting consumers and especially college students about a scam hitting college email accounts. The emails are an off-shoot of the classic “work-from-home” scam.The email students receive include a job offer that states students can work online in the company’s human resources or payroll departments. The scam, according to BBB, comes in when the victim is asked to accept a “payroll deposit” in their personal{{more}}bank account. The “deposit” is actually money stolen from real companies by cyber-criminals, who then ask the student to wire the funds elsewhere, according to the FBI.Participating in this kind of scheme could result in criminal prosecution or the freezing of your bank account.How the Scam Works: A college student or consumer receives an email to your school account offering you a job in a company’s payroll or human resources department.The work is simple. All you need to do is receive a “payroll deposit” from the company to your personal bank account, then transfer the money to other accounts. It seems like an easy, tempting job for a busy student.Don’t do it! Not only is this “job” not what is seems, it’s actually a crime. If someone takes the position, they would be assisting cyber criminals in transferring stolen money. Anyone participating will have their bank account flagged for criminal activity and the participant could be prosecuted.BBB offers the following tips on how to Spot a Job Scam:• Scam ads or emails often contain the phrases “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.” Watch out for ads that urge you to apply immediately.• Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal banking information. Scammers will often request banking info under the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or, in this case, using your bank account to transfer funds.• Some positions are more likely to be scams: Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as admin assistant or customer service representative. These often don’t require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants.• If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check the company’s job page to make sure the position is posted there.• Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.Please contact Better Business Bureau at bbb.org or 691-1533 for information on businesses throughout North America.