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Job scams targeting college students are getting personal


If you’ll be seeing college-age relatives over the holidays, warn them about a variation on the “job interview” scam that students looking for summer or permanent employment have reported to us.

Virtual job scams are nothing new, but they’ve taken a personal – and persuasive – turn. College students are telling us they’ve been approached on social media platforms by people claiming to be recruiters for Wall Street firms, tech companies, national retailers, and other attractive places to land a job. The pitch is convincing. The “recruiter” may claim to have a connection at the college and say that the Dean or a professor has recommended the student as a top-flight prospect for the company’s prestigious management program. In some cases, the recruiter may pepper the conversation with faculty names, campus landmarks, or even memories of their days back at good ol’ insert-school-here.

Then comes a series of virtual interviews followed by a lucrative job offer. Next is the usual “HR paperwork” involving the student’s Social Security number, bank account or driver’s license information, or other personal data. In some cases, the recruiter may send a generous check as a “signing bonus,” but needs to have a portion of the cash sent to someone else, perhaps to cover the cost of a company phone or laptop.


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