Suspicions of an Internet scam have led administrators to suspend the off-campus jobs section of Yale’s Student Employment website.
After a dubious posting appeared this fall that sought to trick students out of their money, the Student Employment Office suspended the off-campus jobs listings “indefinitely,” said Victor Stein, executive director of Student Financial Services. The scam surfaced after a student emailed the identity listed in the ad, Stein said, and the Yale Police Department posted a message on the website alerting students to the scam earlier this month after at least three students notified the YPD of the scheme.
“Our investigation continues in the hope we can identify those responsible so that they don’t continue to victimize folks who may be looking for legitimate ways to make some additional earnings while in school,” YPD Assistant Chief Steven Woznyk said in a Monday email.
The YPD is investigating three separate student reports of the scam, Woznyk said, adding that these kinds of incidents are “not frequently” reported to the YPD. The scam solicited students who would work remotely for $300 per week, and asked new hires to send a check for $1,500 to “Rob Shilman” in exchange for two money orders of $930 apiece.
Woznyk declined to name the students who approached the YPD or to comment on the specifics of the investigation because it remains underway.
Though Yale’s job website was not involved with any fraudulent activity that took place after students contacted “Rob Shilman,” Stein said the future of the off-campus jobs website has still come under review in the wake of the scam. Stein added that he does not know whether similar scams have plagued off-campus job postings in the past.
To be exposed to the scam at all, Stein said students had to log into the student employment system with their NetIDs and passwords, and agree to a disclaimer about the risks of working for off-campus employers. Stein cautioned students to use common sense when applying for any employment opportunity not associated with the University. He added that students are responsible for independently determining the credibility of potential employers.
“As a general rule, be suspicious of any person or website asking for information from you that may be used to gain access to your identity or funds,” Stein said.
Yale has allowed those in the Elm City to post job openings on the off-campus portion of the student employment website for “many years,” Stein said, which benefited both students looking for work during the academic year and community members searching for reliable employees.
Four of five students interviewed said they had noticed the warning on the student employment website, but were not concerned about being hit by the scam.
“I usually don’t look for jobs off campus since the ones on campus already pay well,” Evan Linck ’15 said.
Yale Student Employment is part of the University’s Student Financial and Administrative Services.