October 7, 2022

Students: Beware job & loan scams

Scams are nothing new, but we are seeing a surge in scams targeting UW students and costs for victims are rising. Our Scams web page covers some of the more commonly used tactics, but there are two kinds that we want to highlight in today’s post:

  • Employment Scams
  • Student Aid Scams

Employment scams use elaborate schemes to target students or other potential employees seeking attractive job positions.

  • Students are initially contacted via email or social media platforms, such as LinkedIn or AngelList.
  • The scammer may include recognizable logos from prominent employers in the U.S. and they may spoof email addresses from real human resources employees.
  • They may even conduct mock interviews or ask the student to complete fake questionnaires.

A common goal in these scams is to get the victim to spend money, ostensibly on things such as laptops, based on funds that are either promised or made temporarily available to them in their bank accounts. This is often done by sending the victim a bad check or fake financial statements, but other methods may be used.

If you are asked to use your own money to get a job, it is very likely a scam. Please note that these scams are carried out using various forms of communication, including texts, phone calls, email, including UW email accounts, and social media messages. More information can be found in our Employment Scams Risk Advisory.

Student Aid scams have been used on students for years, but this month, various federal organizations (Education Department, Federal Trade Commission, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) are coordinating education and outreach efforts to fight misinformation and scams that may arise in response to news about student loan forgiveness. More information and resources are linked below.

Because these scams are constantly evolving, it is difficult to predict every tactic that may be used, but by reading and sharing this information, you can help raise awareness and diminish the effectiveness of these harmful attacks.


OIS: Employment Scams Risk Advisory

US Dept. of Education: Avoiding Student Aid Scams

ED.gov Blog: Student Loan Debt Relief Do’s and Don’ts

The White House: Fact Sheet

FTC: How Student Loans Work and How To Avoid Scams


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