FBI warns college students about a message sent to school email accounts

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Better Business Bureau have issued a warning to college students about an email scam running rampant through school email accounts. The emails, according to the BBB, are similar to past "work from home" scams.

The email includes a job offer in the human resources or payroll department of the company, according to WTVR.

The scam happens when the students are asked to accept a "payroll deposit" into their personal bank account.

The deposit is actually money acquired from legitimate companies by cyber-criminals, who then ask students to wire the money to other accounts, according to the FBI.

Participating in this scam could cause the freezing of your bank account or criminal prosecution.

Here is the BBB's tips on how to spot a job scam:

Watch out for these phrases: Scam ads or emails often contain the phrases “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.” Watch out for ads that urge you to apply immediately.

Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal banking information. Scammers will often request banking info under the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or, in this case, using your bank account to transfer funds.

Some positions are more likely to be scams: Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as admin assistant or customer service representative. These often don’t require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants.

If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check the company’s job page to make sure the position is posted there.

Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.

Read the rest of the BBB report here.

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