What it is:

The Student Job Scam has been a recurring problem at Syracuse University and other higher education institutions.   The scam works like this:

  1. The Offer:  Bad actors send email messages to students posing as real or fictitious faculty or staff members who are often out of the country and need your immediate assistance.  Their email contains an offer of an attractive job position with good pay.
  2. The Ask:  The bad actors will ask for many different types of information from you  for you to accept the job.  Though always changing, they will typically try to get to you to respond to their email first, and will then ask for any of the following from you:
    1. Payment via check for services such as a background or credit checks.
    2. Ask you to send money from your personal account to various contacts which they will claim to reimburse you for.
    3. They will mail you a check for you to deposit and ask that you either send a copy of the deposit slip as confirmation (which provides your banking information to them) or asks you to draw funds on the check.  The checks will usually bounce.
    4. Ask for your banking information so you can be paid via direct deposit.
    5. In some cases, they will send you blank checks, asking you to print them on your personal printer and send them to other people.  In these cases, you are being used as a "mule" to send bad checks.
  3. The Scam: In the scenarios like the ones above, the bad actors are trying to steal money from you either through you providing it yourself or through them gaining access to your bank account information.
  4. The Loss:  If you fall for this scam, you will likely suffer a financial loss that may or may not be recoverable.

What to do:

  1. Don't be fooled!  If the job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If you suspect a job offer may be suspicious, please do not respond to the email or provide them with any of your personal information.  Contact Student Employment at cuseworks@syr.edu or the Information Security Department at ITSecurity@syr.edu for assistance.  
  2. Student Employment job opportunities are posted on Handshake (syr.joinhandshake.com), and any communication you receive would be related to a job for which you applied on Handshake.  
  3. If you were victimized by a job scam.  
    1. Contact your bank ASAP: Your bank may be able to help you recover the funds, stop payment on checks, and change your bank account number.
    2. Contact Law Enforcement: If you suffered a loss, you should contact your local or state police.  If it happened while you were at the University, you can contact the Department of Public Safety at 315-443-2224.