Job scammers target Mid-South college students

By Updated: May 21, 2019 11:23 AM CT | Published: May 21, 2019 11:23 AM CT

Students at Southwest Tennessee Community College and another Mid-South college have been the targets of phony job offers recently. In both cases, the job offers have come via email from people posing as hiring managers of legitimate companies or organizations.

The emails Southwest students have received are purportedly from the nonprofit campaign “No Kid Hungry,” soliciting them to be Brand Ambassadors for the organization, according to a release from the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

Jessica Pointer, talent acquisition manager at Share Our Strength, parent organization of the “No Kid Hungry” campaign, was alerted to the phony job scam when she was contacted directly by a Southwest student who questioned the legitimacy of the position.

Pointer confirmed that they do not currently have any positions available in Memphis. 

Scammers have been posing as different nonprofit organizations offering fake employment opportunities to students at colleges and universities across the country, according to Pointer. The scam appears to have started in the Mid-Atlantic states.

The scammers pulled legitimate content, including logos, from the nonprofit’s website to attract students.

Brenda Williams, Southwest Career Services director, told BBB job opportunities posted by employers with Southwest Career Services are previewed prior to being posted on the department website.

“When a potential job scam is detected or brought to our attention, we work with Information Technology Services to address any concerns,” Williams said in the release.

A student at another local university recently contacted Sorrell-Smith Engineering Consultants regarding a job offer she received via email that supposedly came from their firm. The intended victim thought the email had come through her university’s career services office. This scammer used a generic-sounding email address to pose as the West Memphis, Arkansas, engineering firm –

The email instructed the student to download an attached check and invoice, then deposit the check electronically using her mobile banking app. She instead contacted Sorrell-Smith directly. Jim Smith, owner of Sorrell-Smith Engineering, verified that neither the offer nor the check was legitimate.

The BBB offers these tips for avoiding job offer scams:

  • Be wary of generic-sounding titles or vague descriptions of the job duties requiring no special training, licensing or skills.
  • Beware of jobs that offer big money for little work.
  • If you post your resume online, you may get phony job offers from crooks who troll legitimate job search sites. Search the company’s real website to see if the job is also listed there or reach out to them directly via phone or email from their website.
  • Check out companies with BBB at


Better Business Bureau Of The Mid-South

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