Scammers offering fake internships to ACC students

Austin Community College is warning its students about scams offering fake internship opportunities.

According to ACC, students are reportedly receiving emails that appear to come from faculty, but are delivered through non-district-issued email addresses.

As part of the scam, the victim is told they were selected for a paid internship. They then receive a fraudulent check and are asked to purchase supplies from a shell-company vendor using those funds.

However, after purchasing the supplies, the student then learns from their bank that the check they received is fraudulent.

A photo of the fraudulent check provided to the student as part of the scam. (Austin Community College)

ACC says that hundreds of students say they have received these fraudulent emails and at least ten have lost money.

"The scam actually has been around for a while," says Fred Lover, ACC associate professor of cybersecurity. "It's just changed its format."


"What they're doing is the company that they're buying supplies for is usually their company or in cahoots with them," said Lover. "And what they do is they buy that regardless if they deposit the check or not. But then when they finally do deposit the check. It's fraudulent."

In this day and age, many students may immediately deposit the fraudulent check via mobile deposit.

"It immediately goes in as showing a balance. But the bank has not checked it yet. And that's the window of opportunity that the scammers use," said Lover.


Lover says this is called a phishing scam, and in this case, they're baiting students with "authority."

"What they say is, hey, work with this professor, you look at, oh he's with ACC, oh, and he's doing this research thing with a grant and he needs some interns," said Lover.

Students who receive these emails or other similarly suspicious ones are asked to contact ACC police immediately at 512-223-1231.

ACC is also reminding students and employees that all official college emails will always come from an ACC email account. Students should also check online to see if the internship actually exists. All official internship opportunities through ACC will be posted on the district's website.