Fraudulent Job Postings
Job seekers should stay vigilant when considering a posted position. Scammers and others are out there. They are often hoping to get your personal information. They know that the job search is frustrating and they prey upon a student's efforts to find a job. Don't be a victim. Read further to learn how to protect yourself.
How can I recognize a fraudulent posting or scam?
- The contact e-mail does not match the organization. (Example: the job claims to be with Microsoft but they ask you to send your resume to an e-mail that is not email@example.com. It is firstname.lastname@example.org or some other e-mail that is not associated with Microsoft). Other e-mails that they may use include live.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, etc.
- Note: this is not always a problem. For example, some non-profits cannot afford to pay for special e-mail accounts and may use a gmail account since it is free.
- If they claim that the reason that they are using gmail is that they need to be discreet or secretive, you should still be cautious.
- The person who contacts you claims that they got your resume from the school career center. We do not send your resume to employers without your permission. You can upload your resume on College Central Network-our job posting board.
- You receive an e-mail asking you to deposit checks, make bank transfers or other transactions through your account. Usually they state that you will receive a fee for doing so. This is NEVER a good idea. Usually, the check ends up being a bad check and you get stuck with the loss of money. And you may be committing a crime.
- Also, if they ask you to give them your credit card number or bank account number ... this is also a red flag.
- Also, if they ask you to send payment by wire service or courier.
- Also, if they ask you to help them set up an office in your area and ask for your bank account number to send you money to get started.
- You have a hard time contacting the person who posted the position. This is a red flag that they may have had to shut down operations and change company names to stay one step ahead of the authorities.
- You go for an interview and the company name does not match the original company name listed in the job advertisement.
- The job description focuses on salary and does not list duties.
- The organization website focuses on hiring and does not have a lot of information for customers.
- The description has spelling or grammatical errors.
- You are asked to send them a photo of yourself. In the United States, companies do not ask for a photo of you.
- The job says that you can work from home (example: jobs as envelope stuffers, etc.)
- You hear from the employer within 1 day after you apply. This response is generally too fast and implies that the job is not valid. (This does not include the auto-response e-mail).
- If you Google the company name and the word "scam" – you find articles about scams with that company. (Use www.ripoffreport.com or www.bbb.org to investigate organizations.)
- The compensation is very high. (Use a salary calculator to determine starting salaries for college students – our office can direct you to one.)
- Most starting salaries for students' right out of college will be $25,000 - $45,000 per year, with a few exceptions.
- Also, if the salary range is wide (example: you could earn $30,000 - $100,000 in the first year.)
How can I protect myself?
- Don't give out any personal information such as Social Security numbers until you are certain that a job is valid. Do not give out financial information such as bank account numbers.
- Try to view the posting on the company's official website. Don't just rely on general job search sites. If a general site claims that there is an opening at a specific organization but if that organization does not show the opening on their careers page, then this is a red flag. Type the URL for the company. Don't just click on a link within the job posting.
- If a job sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- If anything feels funny, it probably is a scam.
What if I have been a victim?
- Contact the Career Services office.
- Contact the local police. They can investigate.
- Contact your bank (if you've given out credit card or bank account information) so that they can freeze your account/close your account.
- If your communications were over the internet, report the crime to www.cybercrime.gov or call the FTC at: 1-877-382-4357.
Articles and other resources
- Better Business Bureau article on online job scams:
- To ensure the employer e-mail address or phone number is valid, visit www.bbb.org/us/consumers or www.anywho.com.