Unfortunately, not every job posting or offer is an opportunity. Scammers know that job opportunities are a powerful tool for gathering personal information, so you need to know how to distinguish legitimate job postings from scam attempts. Below are some tips to follow and red flags to look out for.
- If a job sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
- Don’t provide financial information or your Social Security number! Legitimate employers won’t ask for your bank account details or your SSN.
- Do not send money! Legitimate employers will not ask you to wire money or pay for services.
- When in doubt, look for the job posting on the employer’s official website. Much like phishing emails, scam job postings often capitalize on well-known names and images. Do not follow links from the suspicious posting, which could take you to a cosmetically similar page, and check the employment page to be sure the opening is real. Calling the company in question (again, using publicly available contact information) is another good strategy.
- If you experience anything unusual about a job posting in Handshake, please contact CCI as soon as possible and flag the posting in Handshake.
- The same warning signs that signal fraudulent emails and websites: bad grammar and spelling, requests for personal information, and difficulty contacting or identifying the poster are all clear signs of trouble.
- Request for an initial investment.
- Request for bank account access.
- Requests for payment or transferring money.
- Offers to pay a large amount of money for little work.
- Offers you a job without interviewing/interacting with you.
- You are contacted by phone, and the number is not available.
- Vague descriptions that focus on money rather than the job.
- Email domain that doesn’t match the employer’s official domain.
- Email domain of a free provider is used such as live.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, gmail.com etc. Legitimate organizations almost always have their own email systems.
- Website that has information only on the job you’re applying for, rather than about the company in general.
What if I’m already involved in a scam?
- End all communication and immediately contact the local police and Public Safety.
- Get in touch with your bank or credit card company and dispute any fraudulent activity immediately.
- If the scam happened online, file a report with the FTC’s cybercrime division.