The Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) has been getting reports of phishing emails that users are receiving. The subject of the emails are "unicef employment" or "personal assistant." Both attempt to take money and gain personal identification information from you in exchange for bogus job opportunities. Please delete these emails and do not follow their instructions.
These emails provide an opportunity to again share information about job scam emails, how to spot them and how to avoid them.
Scammers advertise bogus jobs the same way legitimate employers do — through email, social media and newspapers. They promise you a job, but what they want is your money and your personal information. If you receive one of these job offers, feel free to send it to [email protected] and we will review it and let you know if it is legitimate.
Here are some examples of job scams and tips to help you avoid them:
VIRTUAL PERSONAL ASSISTANT, NANNY AND CAREGIVER JOB SCAMS
Scammers promote fake job ads through emails that look to be opportunities for individuals at the college. If you apply, the person who hires you might send you a check. They will tell you to keep part of the money for your services and then send the rest to someone else. That is a scam. A legitimate employer will never ask you to do that. The check is very likely fake. It can take weeks for a bank to discover this, but once they do they will want you to repay the full amount. If you get an offer that includes depositing a check and then using some of the money for any reason, that is a scam. Walk away.
WORK-FROM-HOME JOB SCAMS
Scammers place ads, often online, claiming they have jobs where you can make thousands of dollars each month working from home with little time or effort. The job could be anything from reshipping products to selling things to people you know. Sometimes the scammers try to get you interested by saying that you can be your own boss, start your own business or set your own schedule.
But instead of making money, you end up paying for starter kits, training or certifications that are useless. You might also find that your credit card is charged without your permission, or you get caught up in a fake check scam. If someone offers you a job and claims you can make a lot of money in a short period of time with little work, that is likely a scam.
MYSTERY SHOPPER JOB SCAMS
Getting paid to shop sounds like a dream job, especially if you are going to school full-time or looking for a side job. But while some mystery shopping jobs are legitimate, many are scams. Legitimate mystery shopping companies will not ask you to pay for certifications, directories of jobs or job guarantees. If someone asks you to pay to get a job, that is likely a scam. And if they want you to deposit a check and send money back, that is definitely a sign of a fake check scam.
HOW TO AVOID A JOB SCAM
Before you accept a job offer, and certainly before you pay for one, take these steps to protect yourself from job scams:
1. Do an online search. Look up the name of the company or the person who is hiring you, plus the words "scam," "review" or "complaint." You might find out they have scammed other people.
2. Look for signs of a scam. Strange requests, poor grammar/spelling and inconsistencies in email addresses or URLs can be signs of a scam. For instance, in the "unicef employment" email that was recently reported, it asks you to reply to an email address at "jobs-uncef.org," misspelling UNICEF.
3. Talk to someone you trust. Describe the offer to them. What do they think? This also helps give you vital time to think about the offer.
4. Never bank on a 'cleared' check. No legitimate potential employer will ever send you a check and then tell you to send part of the money back, or buy gift cards with it. That is a fake check scam. The check will bounce and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the fake check.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU PAID A SCAMMER
No matter how you paid — debit card, credit card, bank or wire transfer, gift card
or cash reload card — immediately contact the company you used to send the money, report the fraud and ask to have the transaction reversed, if possible.
If you have questions or need assistance, contact ITS at [email protected] or 734-973-3456.