BPD: Online scam targeting students looking for summer jobs

Posted at 9:20 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 18:32:44-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Looking for a job? Well ... Bakersfield police say don't fall for scams targeting students who are looking for summer gigs online.

According to the departments Investigations Division there have been multiple scams where potential victims would share their personal info on a job site and then were contacted by a fake employer.

Cops say a potential scenario could be:

"A student applies for an online data entry job posted by a scammer from out-of-state. When payday rolls around, the scammer tells the student they will receive a cashier’s check, however, the value of the check will be more than what the student has earned. The scammer offers to “trust” the student and asks that they repay the difference with a wire transfer. The student cashes the cashier’s check and then wires the scammer the balance. Even though the bank cashes the check, it is later discovered to be a fake and does not clear. The student now owes the bank the full value of the check."

BPD is sharing these tips below in hopes of preventing more scams:


Never give out personal information like your social security or bank account number over email or phone.

Never take cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Fake checks are common and the bank where you cash it will hold you accountable.

Never cash a check that comes with “extra” money. Scammers send checks that require you to deposit a check at your bank, withdraw the “extra” money as cash, and then deposit that cash elsewhere. The check will bounce and you will be held accountable.

Never wire money with someone you have never met or do not know well.

Never apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country.

Never agree to a background check unless you have met the employer in person.

Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue.


Be skeptical. If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, it could be a scammer trying to get personal information from you.

Research the employer. Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page?

Meet face-to-face with a potential employer. An in person interview or informal chat over coffee will help you determine the employer’s intentions.

Be sure to choose a public place to meet, tell someone where you are going and bring your cell phone, just in case.

Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.

If you suspect you have been the victim of a scam, please report it to local law enforcement immediately.