Part-time job seekers are encouraged to be vigilant and mindful of fraudulent job schemes. It is not uncommon for fraudulent job schemes to specifically target college students through emails that appear to be job postings, unsolicited email, and direct messages through social media accounts. 

Auburn University Career Services does not directly email or direct message employment opportunities to students.  Legitimate job postings that are vetted and approved are found in Handshake, and part-time campus positions can be found on auemployment.com.  With Handshakes auto-approval process, it is possible for a fraudulent company or job to occasionally make it on to the platform, so it t is important to stay vigilant.

In general, be sure to carefully review job postings and use caution and common sense when applying.  To help identify phishing emails, review the information provided by Auburn OIT 

Here are common strategies scammers use when targeting college students:

  • Hiring you to shop for office supplies, gift cards or mystery/secret shopping
  • Offering you a large sum of money/check to deposit into your bank account (after you deduct your salary) and then wire/transfer remaining money to their agents
  • Utilizing a recognizable company name, but then communicating through a generic email account (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.)
  • Sending you an email/direct message offering you a part-time job you did not apply for
  • Requesting you to put money MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload or a Reloadit card
  • Mailing you a check before you do any work
  • Asking you to pay an application fee

Requesting personally identifiable information be sent electronically, such as driver’s license, passport, social security card, or birth certificate, voided check, or bank account information.  To complete the Form I-9, these documents must be provided in person after a formal, signed job offer has been negotiated.  Copies of these documents are not accepted in the completion of the Form I-9, which is why this process is conducted in-person or through secure and confidential means.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Concerned You Have Been Scammed? Received a Phishing Email?

If you believe you have fallen victim to a phishing email or fraudulent part-time job scam, Career Discovery and Success can guide you through your next steps – reach out directly to Career Discovery and Success by visiting 101 or 303 Mary Martin Hall, call (334) 844-4744, or email career@auburn.edu

1. Immediately change the password to the online account the phishing email was pretending to be from and to any other accounts that used the same login information.

2. Forward the phishing email “as an attachment” to phishing@auburn.edu and then DELETE the message from your Inbox.

3. Contact the IT Service Desk at (334) 844-4944 or itservicedesk@auburn.edu.

4. Run a virus scan on your system using anti-virus software.

5. If you believe you may be the victim of identity theft, visit: Federal Commission for Identity Theft

6. Regularly check your banking and credit card accounts for any unauthorized transactions that may have been initiated by the phishers.

You may also want to do the following:

1. File a complaint with the FBI on the Internet Fraud Complaint Center of the FBI website

2. Forward the email to the Federal Trade Commission and the company being spoofed.

Next Steps to Protect Your Identity and Financial Wellbeing

If you have received and deposited an unsolicited check, provided proof of identity (copy of a driver’s license, passport, social security card, socials security number, birth certificate), or provided financial account information (bank account, savings account, or other financial account or institution information) in relation to what you believe is a fraudulent part-time job opportunity, outlined below are steps to take to safeguard your banking information and protect your identity:

1. Notify all of your financial institutions (Banks, Credit Card Companies, etc.) immediately to notify them that it is not a legitimate check, and/or that you have fallen victim to a phishing scam or fraudulent job opportunity

2. Check and monitor your credit score and history

3. Report your experience and provide your local police department with any evidence (email, envelope, letter, and check mailed to them):

  • If you live in Auburn or on Campus contact City of Auburn Police
  • If you are living away from campus and outside of Auburn, AL, contact your local jurisdiction (City or County where you live and receive postal mail)

4. Keep your police report of case file number and associated information to provide it to financial institutions and credit agencies, as well as other local, state, or federal entities, if needed.

By Karlee Hall
Karlee Hall Integrated Marketing & Communications Coordinator