If you have a child in college, you know it's difficult enough, with studies, student loans and peer pressure. Now they have something else to worry about: Crooks trying to fool them with work-at-home schemes to help them with debt and other expenses.
Both the FBI and Better Business Bureau are sounding the alarm about an e-mail deception targeting college students. This one has a bit of twist.
Cyber crooks are sending fake job offers claiming they'll be hired to work in a company's payroll or human resources department. Criminals collect the students' banking information and tell them as part of the job, they'll have to transfer money to other accounts.
The big problem, the FBI says, is the money deposited is tied to another scam, and that unsuspecting student is helping thieves pull off the fraud.
"I think sometimes students get a bit comfortable with their university setting and so we have to remind them, 'Don't let your guard down and don't provide any personal information that could make you vulnerable to a crime,'" says Sandy Turnage, a college career student advisor.
The university encourages students to report anything suspicious. It screens all job offers, but warns there's always the possibility something could slip through. It's why there are reminders posted urging students to always do their research.
"There may occasionally be a few students who just aren't aware that something like this could even happen and those are the students we want to remind, 'Hey. Keep your guard up. Make sure you are keeping your information safe," says Turnage.
The FBI offers several red flags that a job offer may be bogus. Number one: If a job is asking you to wire money steer clear.
Here's why this is so bad if your kids fall for this. First, their account will be flagged as being involved with fraud and their account could be closed. Crooks could steal money from their account and they could be arrested. You need to talk to them about this.