Fraudulent employers are getting increasingly smart about targeting college students for job scams. With the varying levels of sophistication and tact that these con artists use, it can often time be hard to decipher which job opportunities are legitimate and which are not.
The Center for Career and Professional Development is here to help you avoid falling prey to this type of fraudulent activity. Below is a list of the top 10 scams and some tips to help you ensure the jobs you are applying for are authentic.
1. THE JOB SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Scammers often post positions promising high salary, flexible schedules, work from home options, with no experience required. Many use vague job titles such as “Executive Assistant” or “Business Analyst.”
2. YOU’RE HIRED BEFORE INTERVIEWING
Legitimate employers rarely offer candidates a position without conducting at least one in-person interview. Phone and video-chat interviews are not in-person interviews. Beware if your request for an interview is denied.
3. SIMPLE QUALIFICATIONS
Avoid offers for which the job requirements are so minimal that nearly every person qualifies (i.e., 18+ years of age, Valid driver’s license, Grade 10, Access to the internet, S.A. citizen, etc.)
4. PERSONAL ACCOUNT INFO REQUESTED
Be cautious of any employer who requests your bank account, credit card, passport, and drivers license numbers as a condition of employment, especially if the information is requested over email or phone.
5. POORLY WRITTEN EMAILS
Be on guard for employment-related emails containing poor grammar and spelling, sloppy formatting and sentence structure, and emails written in all caps and/or containing simple signature lines.
6. HIRING WHILE “AWAY ON BUSINESS”
Be cautious of recruiters who hire while claiming to be out-of-state or overseas “on business.” These people often say they are unavailable for an in-person interview due to their travel schedules.
7. USE OF GENERAL EMAIL ADDRESS
Legitimate hiring managers will not use personal email accounts to conduct professional business or to communicate employment information with job applicants.
8. EMPLOYER ASKS YOU TO CASH A CHECK
A common request of fraudulent employers is that you accept a mailed check, and then either cash it and mail the money back to them, or wire the money to another individual. You should never under any circumstances accept this type of job.
9. WEBSITE DOMAIN NAME IS OFF
Fraudulent employers create websites that appear identical to those of well-known companies by copying the content and simply altering the web address by one character. Do your research and make sure the website is legitimate.
10. THINGS JUST DON’T ADD UP
Don’t allow the allure of these “too good to be true” jobs to cloud your common sense and good judgment. If something feels wrong, there’s likely a reason. Take your time accepting the job offer, and do your homework.
If you believe you have been the victim of an employment scam, please contact the Center for Career and Professional Development. We are here to provide you with the resources, training, and advice to help you establish and meet your career goals.
What to do if you discover a fraudulent job posting
- If you shared your social security, drivers license, passport numbers or any bank information, notify your local police and contact your bank immediately.
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
- File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): www.ic3gov
- File a report with the Better Business Bureau (BBB): www.bbb.org/scamtracker
Not sure if a job posting is legitimate? Always research the company and help yourself to determine its legitimacy.
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