RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
College is already difficult enough, but there is something else students have to worry about: Crooks are trying to fool them with a work-from-home scheme.
The FBI and the Better Business Bureau are sounding the alarm about an email deception targeting college students. This one has a bit of twist.
Cyber crooks are sending fake job offers claiming students will be hired to work in a company's payroll or human resources department. Criminals collect the student's banking information and tell them as part of the job, they'll have to transfer money to other accounts.
The FBI says the money deposited is tied to another scheme, and that unsuspecting student is helping thieves pull off the deception.
"You will have some major problems if you fall for this," Sandy Turnage said. "First, your account will be flagged as being involved with an illegal scheme. Also, crooks could steal money from your account, you could be arrested and your bank account could be closed because of the fraudulent activity." Turnage is the University of Richmond's Associate Director of Alumni and Career Services.
"Sometimes students get a bit comfortable with their university setting and so we have to remind them don't let your guard down and don't provide any personal information that could make you vulnerable to a crime," Turnage said.
The University encourages students to report anything suspicious. It screens all job offers, but warns there's always the possibility something could slip through.
It's why a reminder is posted urging students to always do their research.
"There may occasionally be a few students who just aren't aware that something like this could even happen," Turnage said, "and those are the students we want to remind, hey, keep your guard up, make sure you are keeping your information safe."
The FBI offers several red flags that a job offer may be bogus. Number one, if a job is asking you to wire money steer clear.