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Financial Friday: New Scams Target Job Seekers

Betty Thorne, Stetson University

Betty Thorne, Ph.D.

Scammers are targeting university and recent graduates. For example, some scammers have been impersonating recruiters at accounting firms like UHY.

The scam works like this: The scammer calls and offers career opportunities or internships through sites like Google Hangouts. All the applicant must do, the scammers say, is sign an acceptance letter and provide personal and banking information for the employment application/credit check.

There’s no real job opportunity. The scammer has just stolen the student’s information.

Sometimes, scammers also ask for a cash payment for reimbursement of materials to start their new job, and, sometimes, this cash payment is reimbursed with a supposed company check that later bounces.

Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., Stetson University professor

Valrie Chambers, Ph.D.

To spot impersonators, look for distorted company letterheads, poor grammar and inconsistent fonts in the message. Check the phone number to see if it works and the recruiters’ names to make sure that they work for the company. Research employees LinkedIn accounts. Check the firm’s legitimate website for specific interview practices, such as always conducting in-person or video interviews.  Even legitimate job websites like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn and Monster.com can be used to feed in to bogus websites for job seekers.


Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., is Chair of the Accounting Department and associate professor of taxation and accounting. Betty Thorne, Ph.D., is a professor of statistics and the Christian R. Lindback Chair of Business Administration. They write Financial Fridays to bolster students’ financial wellness, including preventing financial mistakes, safeguarding their assets and identity, and thinking critically about financial decisions. For questions, contact Valrie Chambers at Valrie.chambers@stetson.edu.