NEW ORLEANS -- The Better Business Bureau is warning about scammers who target recent graduates and college students with fake job offers.

Cynthia Albert with the BBB said the solicitations are often sent to college email addresses and promise things like flexible hours and good pay.

One scam message read, "The position offers flexibility that allows you to choose your hours during the day to avoid conflicts between classes or other businesses."

Albert warns that those who reply to the email may be offered a position by the con artists who may also try to conduct a short interview over email or through an online chat.

Albert said the scammers may also try to send a check for the applicant's "first assignment" where they are told to keep a portion of the money and send the rest to other scam agents.

But the check is fake, Albert said, and you will be responsible for any money withdrawn from it.

Job scams often use the names of legitimate businesses, but in some cases, fake companies are used.

How to spot an employment scam:

Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work from secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing and they appeal to a wide range of applicants.

If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. Also, check the real company's job page to make sure the position is posted there.

Watch out for on-the-spot offers. You can be an excellent candidate for the job but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.

Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him or her to wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers.

Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training. This information can then be used for identity theft, so be absolutely certain before you share.

Better Business Bureau of Southeast Louisiana, 3421 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 505 (504) 522-9363

Cynthia Albert will be on the WUPL Eyewitness Morning News at 8:30 a.m.

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