A part-time job can ease the financial burden that comes with getting a college education, but for one student, a dream job turned into an expensive nightmare. 7’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.
Broward College student Josiah Ho was eager to make a few extra bucks.
Josiah Ho: “A job I could work at home, a job I could do on my own time.”
So when he logged onto his college email and saw this message advertising a job, he jumped at the chance.
Josiah Ho: “I thought this is a great opportunity, really good pay for college.”
The email is from someone named Emily with a Broward College email address. She offered a part-time job for an organization she called “NGO Recruitment Relief” that pays up to $500 a week.
Josiah Ho: “A perfect job for a college student and I was very happy to have, so I responded fast to everything.”
This is the application Josiah was sent, it describes a job for an administrative assistant that would help orphanages and foster homes.
Josiah Ho: “It’s good experience. I can help kids, and I get paid. There is no downside to this.”
After being hired, Josiah got this email from NGO Recruitment Relief. It says the company would provide Josiah with money to buy all the items the foster homes requested.
Josiah Ho: “He sent me a check, he said to print it out and cut it out and do the mobile deposit.”
The check was for $4,500.
He was told to deposit it, keep $500, then send the rest via Zelle and Paypal to two other people in the company.
Josiah never questioned why, but the problems soon began.
Josiah Ho: “I got a call from Wells Fargo saying your account is negative. The check you gave was found to be counterfeit.”
Josiah texted his boss for help.
Josiah Ho: “He sent me a second check.”
He tried to cash it, but his bank told him…
Josiah Ho: “Both of the checks were counterfeit. The person at the bank basically told me, ‘Oh, you’re going to be liable for this.'”
Since the job posting came through his school’s email system, he asked Broward College for help, but he didn’t get any.
Josiah Ho: “I feel let down.”
Broward College tells us: “We are saddened to learn that a phishing scam has negatively impacted one of our students… while we make every effort to educate and protect our students against these scams, Broward College does not guarantee the security or confidentiality of the use of its email system.”
Josiah Ho: “What’s the point of a private email if it’s not secure?”
Josiah says he is now seeing more scam emails like the one he was sent in his inbox.
Broward College has sent out this alert warning students about job scams. As an example, it includes the email that cost Josiah thousands of dollars.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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