CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reminds college students to avoid fake employment and internship ads when looking to jump-start postgraduate career goals or earn extra money.
According to a press release, many college students use internships to build up work experience, while employment helps bring in some extra money.
“It’s very smart for college students to get a head start on careers as it is admirable to work and study at the same time,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “However, it’s very important that a student’s enthusiasm not cloud their judgment or make them gloss over potential red flags.”
Students must be cautious with unsolicited emails. These emails may contain links to application websites that claim bank accounts and other personal information is necessary to receive payment from an employer. Others may ask to transfer money to a third account.
Legitimate employers will not ask for financial account information online or on application forms.
Obvious red flags include bad grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Authentic employment and internship ads will be professional and spell checked.
Students should verify legitimacy with a thorough search of received email addresses and the company or internship agency.
Also, students should not accept a job that requires depositing or wiring money between multiple accounts in order to secure a position. Giving away financial information prior to accepting a job offer could result in a scheme that could be used for money laundering.
The Attorney General’s Office issued this advice as part of the fifth annual Off to College Consumer Protection Week. To learn about consumer protection efforts in West Virginia, visit www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection.
Anyone with questions should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.