FBI: ‘Work-from-home’ scams target students


When you check your student email, chances are you see questionable offers. They tend to be job offers, but sometimes you find scholarship, internship or housing offers.

College students across the United States, including a few students from Pima Community College, have been targeted to participate in work-from-home scams.

The students receive emails to their school accounts recruiting them for payroll and/or human resource positions with fictitious companies, according to the FBI.

The “position” requires the student to provide his/her bank account number to receive a deposit, then transfer a portion of the funds to another bank account.

Funds the student receives and directs elsewhere have been stolen by cyber criminals. Participating in the scam is a crime and could lead to the student’s bank account being closed due to fraudulent activity or federal charges.

If you’ve been a victim of the scam, you can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. Reference PSA number 01132015a-PSA in your complaint.

The FBI urged students to be aware of warning signs and to never be too comfortable with what they see on the Internet.

The agency offered these tips to protect yourself from any form of Internet scam:

• If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

• Never accept a job that requires depositing funds into your account, then wiring money to different accounts.

• Look at poor use of English in emails, such as incorrect grammar, capitalization and tenses. Many scammers are not native English speakers.

• Never provide details of any kind, such as bank account information, login names, passwords or any other identifying information in response to a recruitment email.

• Forward the emails to the college’s IT department at itsecurity@pima.edu.

• Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.

Students searching for jobs have legitimate Tucson sources to consult.

PCC students can use the MyCareerLink provided under the Student Resources tab in their MyPima account to craft a resume and search through 950 potential employers. For more information, email careerservices@pima.edu or call 206-4768.

Another online option is the Arizona Career Information System at azcis.intocareers.org.

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