The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Job Scams

BEWARE:

  • Fake job postings in unsolicited e-mails sent to your student account or through social media
  • Mystery shoppers
  • Issuing checks/check processing from home
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • OVER-PAYMENT SCAMS 
  • Often posted as a bookkeeper, personal assistant, administrative assistant, work-from-home, etc.
  • The “company” sends a check to the “hired assistant” (student), who is then responsible for depositing a check sent to the student, taking their “salary” out of the check, and wiring the remainder of the money back to the “company.” These checks are fraudulent and can leave you out of thousands of dollars and facing criminal charges.

NEVER:                         

  • Never give out personal info like your social security # or bank account # (Fake jobs can be attempts to steal your personal info).
  • Never take cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Fake checks are common and the bank where you cash it will hold you accountable.
  • Beware of Jobs that pay in “Gift Cards,” many times there is a $0.00 balance on the card.
  • Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other service.
  • Never apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country.
  • Never agree to a background check unless you have met the employer in person.
  • Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue.

ALWAYS:

  • Research the employer.  Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Call the number listed online (not in an email or job ad).
  • Meet face to face with a potential employer.
  • Be skeptical. Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, or is offering a lot of money for very little work, it is likely a scam.

IF YOU THINK YOU’RE A VICTIM:

If you think you fell victim to a scam, protect yourself by stopping any further communication.

  1. Change any password on accounts involved.
  2. Contact institutions involved.
  3. Make a report to:       

UMass Police Department               545-2121

UMass OIT (if an email scam)          545-9400               

UMass Career Services                   545-2224

UMass Student Employment Office (if a job post)   545-0801