Fraudulent Employers and Employment Scams

Beware of Fraudulent Employers and Employment Scams 

What is a fraud or scam? 

A fraud is an act of deceiving or misrepresenting something. A fraud is also a person who is not what they pretend to be or represent. A scam is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation to obtain something, such as money or personal information. Examples:  

  • A person might represent a company that is not a real, legal, or legitimate company.  

  • A person is using a legitimate company name, but is not affiliated with the company.  

  • A person asks you for confidential personal information or involves you in a financial transaction. 

How to protect yourself from scams and frauds 

Become familiar with the company and recruiter. Check out the company website to learn about their culture, values, and business. Make sure the information on the website is well-written and clearly states important information about the company. If their website includes the names of employees check LinkedIn to determine if all information makes sense and matches the information on the website. 

Assess the job posting details. Where is the job located? Does the location match the company website? Are the responsibilities of the job clearly stated and easy to understand. Errors such as typos and misspelled words are red flags. If the salary is included in the job posting salary, does the salary align with the job expectations?  

Interview with the employer. All reputable employers require one or more interviews to assess your skills and knowledge. Most often a reputable employer will require more than one interview before making an offer to you for the job. Do not accept a job you did not apply to. Do not accept a job you did not interview for. Do not accept a job that pressures you to accept the job in a very short timeframe. 

Red Flags – Stay on the look out for these actions 
  • An employer contacts you by phone but the phone number is blocked or not available. 

  • The person contacts you by email using a Gmail, Yahoo, AOL address rather than a business email address. 

  • The person contacts you on LinkedIn or Handshake but switches to a chat app like Whatsapp. 

  • The person communicates with you using chat apps, text messages and does not meet with you in-person or virtually. 

  • Your interview is very short, and the person does not ask relevant questions. 

  • You are an international student, and the person never asks about your ability to legally work in the U.S. 

  • The person asks you to conduct some type of financial transaction using cash, depositing a check, wire transfers, credit or debit cards, gift cards. 

  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account, often for depositing checks or transferring money. 

  • The person asks you for confidential personal information such as date of birth, social security number, employment authorization/visa information, etc. 

  • The salary for the job is usually high. 

  • Written communication is poor and includes typos, poor grammar, misspelled words, and is not easy to understand. 

What should you do?

If you suspect an employer is a fraud, immediately stop all communication with the employer, do not send money, and keep copies of all communication - including text messages, chat app communication, offer letters, etc. Contact the career center immediately at or stop by the career center located on the 6th floor in Howe Center.