GVSU student scammed through Laker Jobs
Megan Gabriel, a fifth year health professions major at Grand Valley State University, lost nearly
$2,000 as the result of a phishing scam that was posted on the Laker Jobs board.
Gabriel found a post on the board asking for an office assistant, and she applied for the job. The fake employer sent her a check with instructions telling her to keep some cash and to send the rest back.
“The bank told me the check I had cashed had bounced,” Gabriel said. “At this point, I had already
withdrawn the money and transferred it to my ‘employer.’ After finding this information, I
immediately contacted the place where the check had been cashed, and they told me flat out this
has already happened to many people and is indeed a scam.”
Anybody can post a job to the Laker Jobs board. Employers email all of their available positions and
the details to the Career Center at GVSU. The Career Center then sorts through all the jobs, puts the
information into separate posts, and posts them on the board.
All jobs are approved before they’re posted. However, a student worker at the Career Center said
she hadn’t heard of this incident and that scams rarely ever get posted.
Gabriel lost $1,840 from the incident. Her parents urged her to leave school to get a full-time job
to pay off the debt, but she chose instead to continue going to school. After the scam, though, she
is a bit more cautious when looking for jobs on the Internet.
“Technology has given us the comfort of not having to truly interact with one another,” Gabriel said.
“It is more comfortable, but it is also deceiving, for you may not know if the person on the other
line is really even who they say they are.”
Capt. Brandon DeHaan, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety, said it’s often senior
citizens or young adults who are victims of these scams because they’re good-natured and good-
hearted, but also naive.
“Any time someone sends you a check telling you to keep some cash and send some back, it’s a
scam,” he said. “You should immediately call the police and IT to have the post removed.”
GVPD has a 24-hour non-emergency dispatch number, but reminds students to dial 911 for any
The number for the Allendale Campus dispatch is 616-331-3255, and 616-331-6677 is for the
“If it looks too good to be true, it is,” said GVPD Detective Bill Dewitt.