A job scam warning has been sent out by the St. Cloud State University Career Center after a student notified them of being contacted by a scammer via text message that wanted the student to deposit a fraudulent check.
The scammers wanted the student to purchase items from a “certified vendor” with the money from check, which would bounce, and wanted to collect personal information, like the student’s Social Security number and bank information, according to the email.
Campus Recruitment and Events Coordinator for the SCSU Career Center Desiree Wickman said that while this type of scam is common, this is the first time that this has been reported to the Career Center since she began her role there about a year ago.
Wickman said the student and herself filed a report with SCSU Public Safety who recommended that the student file a separate police report with the St. Cloud Police Department.
“[There] are scams that are going on across the state and nation and [they] are difficult to investigate as the scammers use processes that mask their identities and calling locations,” said SCPD Assistant Police Chief Oxton “Accordingly most law enforcement agencies have gone to a prevention model, as did the university in this case, to make the public aware of these scams and know not to ever give money or personal info to people or businesses that are not known to them and or verified.”
Wickman said the university also focuses on prevention but also encourages students to contact the law enforcement, something Oxton agrees with.
“If they lost money in the scam or they feel they disclosed personal information that could be an identity theft, they should file a report,” said Oxton “If they just received a call or a message, re: a scam they can certainly let us know, however, due to the numbers of these types of scams out there these days, we do not start a report on every one received by someone.”
Oxton said that even if they do not start a report the department may use the information to alert the community that a certain scam is going on in the area.
Some of the preventive measures suggested in the email sent by the SCSU Career Center include:
- Never provide any personal information by email (or in this specific situation – google hangouts) to an employer
- Use a different strong password for each online account
- Change passwords more frequently for accounts with access to confidential data
- Never share passwords with others
- Whenever suspicious or just plain curious – google everything (website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses)
- Consult the Career Center if you have questions about any job postings that seem “fishy” or too good to be true.
The email also encouraged students who believe they have been contacted by a job scam to forward all email correspondences to email@example.com or to call 320-308-4017.