Employment Scam Information

hireBING Job and Internship Posting Disclaimer

While the Fleishman Center does their absolute best to vet and verify each job and internship posting that is listed in hireBING, it is your responsibility to fully research each opportunity before applying. Before accepting any offers, it is recommended that you carefully review the position, responsibilities, and expectations (including pay rate/schedule and your work schedule).

Please be extremely careful of any employers that email you directly with a job or internship opportunity. We recommend that you contact the Fleishman Center by emailing hirebing@binghamton.edu if you receive such a posting and have any questions. The Fleishman Center does not supply any employer with lists of student contact information.

What is an employment scam?

College students across the United States continue to be targeted in a common employment scam. Scammers advertise phony job opportunities on college employment websites, and/or students receive e-mails on their school accounts recruiting them for fictitious positions. This “employment” results in a financial loss for participating students.

Classic employment scams will include targeting college students for part time positions such as administrative, assistant, or internship roles.  They will send the student counterfeit checks and instruct the student employee to deposit these checks into their personal bank account.  The scammer then directs students to withdraw funds and send money via wire, payment aps (Venmo, Paypal, etc) or by purchasing gift cards and sending them to the scammer.  The checks are eventually deemed fraudulent by the bank and the student employee is responsible for paying the money back.

Common signs of an employment scam include when an employer is..

  • Using unprofessional emails (capitalization, punctuation, grammar, etc)
  • Using an email that does not match actual company (leasearep.com vs leaserep.com)
  • Asking for any financial information (bank account, PayPal, or credit card information)
  • Asking you to cash any checks and sending them back money or gift cards
  • Sending you money to run errands
  • Contacting you when you did not apply or connect with that employer
  • Paying you a large amount (hourly or salary) upfront without meeting you
  • Offering you the job without an interview 
  • Providing vague job description or requirements
  • Out of town and only corresponding via email
  • Using a non-company email such as @gmail.com or @yahoo.com
  • Requesting you to pay for something (buying a software or gift cards)
  • Asking you set up an office location
  • Position requires an initial investment from you
  • Employer responds immediately after you submit your resume

The following are some examples of common employment scam e-mails:

“You will need some materials/software and also a time tracker to commence your training and orientation and also you need the software to get started with work. 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.”

“I have forwarded your start-up progress report to the HR Dept. and they will be facilitating your start-up funds with which you will be getting your working equipment from vendors and getting started with training.”

“Enclosed is your first check. Please cash the check, take $300 out as your pay, and send the rest to the vendor for supplies.”

What can happen if I fall victim to an employment scam?

  • Frozen or closed bank accounts – Your bank account may be closed due to fraudulent activity and a report could be filed with a credit bureau or law enforcement agency
  • Loss of money – You are responsible for reimbursing the bank for the amount of the counterfeit checks
  • Credit risks – Your credit record could be adversely affected
  • Identity theft – Your identity could be stolen as scammers often obtain personal information while posting as an employer
  • Supporting criminal activity – Scammers seeking to acquire funds through fraudulent methods could potentially utilize the money to fund illicit criminal or terrorist activity

How can I protect myself from employment scams?

  • Look for the following:
    • Can you identify the sender of the communication? Have you applied to a job and/or were you expecting this email?
    • Look at the reply-to: does it match the company email or is different from the sending email?
    • Is the person pushy or trying to hurry your offer along?
    • Are they only communicating via email or messaging apps?
    • Many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers. Look for poor use of the English language in e-mails such as incorrect grammar, capitalization and tenses.
  • Never accept a job that requires depositing checks into your account or sending portions of money to other individuals or accounts.
  • Educate yourself – conducting a simple Google search can give you an idea if others have identified this as a scam
  • Forward suspicious e-mails to Binghamton University’s IT department and report it to the FBI.
  • If you are unsure, ask the Fleishman Career Center to take a second look at the position or offer.
  • Tell your friends to be on the lookout for the scam.

What should I do if I have been a victim of an employment scam?

  1. Cease all communications with the person/employer
  2. Do NOT cash any checks, accept any payments, or wire/send any money to anyone.  Do NOT buy any gift cards or send payment through services such as Venmo or PayPal
  3. If you have cashed any checks or sent any money:
    • Notify your financial institution as soon as possible
    • Block any outgoing checks or wire transfers
  4. Contact University Police or your local police department to file a report
  5. Notify the Fleishman Career Center (hirebing@binghamton.edu) of the situation
  6. Notify Binghamton ITS if the email came to your binghamton.edu email (security@Binghamton.edu)

Resources

Fleishman Center: hirebing@binghamton.edu, 607-777-2440
Binghamton ITS
Binghamton University Police
FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center
Fraudulent Employers Tips for Students (NACE)

 

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