There's a new scam emerging in the Sunshine State. On Wednesday, Attorney General Ashley Moody alerted Twitter to a Florida work-from-home scam that is targeting college students. The new scheme has prompted the state to issue a Consumer Alert warning.

“During the COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic downturn, Floridians are looking for work, and it is unconscionable that scammers are exploiting these times of uncertainty to prey on our college students," she said. "Students who fall victim to this scam could face serious repercussions to their financial stability and credit record."

In a press release, Moody wrote that the scammers are using the COVID-19 downturn to prey on its victims, urging all students to take precautions when taking an online gig.  

According to the AG, scammers are sending job ads targeting those looking for administrative positions. The bad actors design the scam advertisements to look as if it came from a university representative, using email addresses ending in ".edu."

Those who respond will receive a counterfeit check that they then instruct the victim to deposit into their personal account. The "savvy" scammers would then ask the victim to withdraw the money and make a payment for the job.

Moody explained cashing in the counterfeit checks have resulted in many of the victims having their accounts closed due to "fraudulent activity."

Once their accounts are flagged, the bank then files a report with credit bureaus or, in some instances, law enforcement officials. The victims will then be on the hook to pay off the amount of the fraudulent check, negatively impacting their credit report.

To avoid these predatory "work-from-home" schemes, the AG recommends that you research a company before you say "yes" to any job offer and check your school's contact information to see if the email is legit.

Sometimes, these scam emails will have typos or grammatical errors. Moody also cautions students to be wary of employment offers without an interview and to never send funds as part of landing a job.

Moody also wrote that this "work-from-home" scam is one of the dozens of illegitimate schemes that have popped up in Florida related to COVID-19.

*Photo used for illustrative purposes.

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