Beware of Fake Online Employment and Job Scams

Technology is growing rapidly, and with every passing day we are more and more consumed and increasingly depended on it. But technology is more vulnerable than protected. Most of the technology is poorly secured giving rise to the biggest concern i.e. cyber security.

Fake Online Employment and Job Scams

Fake Online Employment and Job Scams

Today it has become very easy to become a victim of Cyberscams. Nowadays, the Cybercriminals are targeting College students. These criminals advertise fake employment opportunities which turn to financial loss for the participating students. Here is how these job scams work.

College Students Swindled into Pay for Job Scams

The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) issued a public service announcement (PSA) on the 18 January 2017. With this announcement, they described a scam which is precisely targeting the college students looking for work.

How do Job Scams work

  1. Scammers Post Jobs

Online job advertisements are posted by the scammers. These job postings solicit college students for administrative job openings.

  1. Fake Checks

Once the student shows interest in the job opening, he\she receives a counterfeit check in their mail. This mail instructs them to deposit the check into their personal checking account.

  1. Withdraw & Transfer Funds

The cyber-criminal further directs the employee-student to withdraw the funds from their checking account. They also direct them to send a portion to another individual via wire transfer. They often mention that the transfer of funds is to a “vendor” that is needed for equipment, materials, or software essential for the job.

  1. Banks Confirms Fraud Checks

Consequently, the bank confirms the checks to be fraudulent. This leads to financial loss for the student. There can be adverse effects on the students to their credit, likely legal action, or identity theft for participation.

Consequences of being scammed

  1. Due to the fraudulent activity, the student’s bank account may be closed. Further, a report could also be filed by the bank with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency.
  2. Since the student transfers amount of the counterfeit check to the scammer, he\she would be responsible for reimbursing the same to the bank.
  3. There could be an adverse effect on the student’s credit record.
  4. With this scam the scammers are successful in obtaining personal information from the student, this leaves the students more exposed to identity theft.
  5. The funds collected by the scammers via such scams could be potentially utilized to fund illegal criminal or terrorist activity.

Examples Of Employment Scam E-Mails

Below are the examples of some of the regular employment scam emails:

“I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the Personnel Dept and you will get your confirmation letter soon. They will also be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training.”

“You will need some software and also a time tracker to commence your job training and orientation. The funds for the software will be provided for you by the company via check. Make sure you use them as instructed for the software and I will refer you to the vendor you are to purchase them from, okay.”

“Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $500 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies.”

How can you avoid getting trapped in Job Scams

  • Be Alert when Job Demands calls for Receiving Or Processing Funds.

Students need to be extra cautious when accepting any online job. Never accept any job that demands depositing checks into your account. Also, if the job demands to transfer any amount to individuals or accounts, “then it could be a potential scam.

  • Poor Use Of English In Job Mails

One important thing to note is that many of the scammers are not native English speakers, hence the messages they send may have poor use of the English language in them. Check for incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses in the emails they send.

  • Report Immediately

Report to the FBI or your local authority and forward any such suspicious e-mails to your college’s IT personnel.


Cyber criminals impact the economy and also the daily lives of every individual. Sadly due to the lack of knowledge and awareness, many of us become easy victims. If you have been a victim of such scam or any other Internet-related scam, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Read next: Most common Online and Email scams & frauds.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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