Career Development Services offers CDSlink as a resource for employers to connect with NJIT students and alumni seeking internships, co-ops, and career related jobs. We strive to keep fraudulent and scam postings off CDSlink as each employer and position is vetted by someone on our Employer Relations Team. However, it is impossible to ensure that every job posting is legitimate, and impossible to keep track of every employer and position after approved. Therefore, we are sharing common “red flags,” things that alarm us in postings, so you too, can attempt to identify such scam and fraudulent job postings.
The following “red flags” are general markers to help you conduct a safer job search and protect your identity. These “red flags” in no way cover all possible instances of fraud or all the red flags. Therefore, please always use your own discretion when applying to a position or interacting with a potential employer.
Fraudulent job postings try to take your money, personal information, or both. The jobs often appear easy and convenient ways to make money with very little effort.
Core Essentials to Avoiding a Job Posting Scam
1. Do not give your personal bank account, PayPal account, or credit card information to a new employer.
2. Do not agree to have funds or paychecks directly deposited into any accounts by a new employer. (Arrangements for direct deposit or paycheck should be made during your first day or week of actual employment on site – not before.)
3. Do not forward, transfer or send by courier (i.e. FedEx, UPS), or “wire” any money to any employer, or behalf of any employer, using your personal account(s).
4. Do not transfer money and retain a portion for payment.
5. Do not respond to suspicious and/or “too good to be true” unsolicited job emails.
6. In general, applicants do not pay a fee to obtain a job (but there are some rare exceptions – so be careful, and consult with a professional at Career Services first).
Red Flags: How to Identify a Potentially Fraudulent Job Posting
The “employer” asks for, or posts…
But in truth,…
||Legitimate jobs will not ask for this kind of information on an application, by phone, or email.|
||Legitimate recruiters are directly associated with the company for whom they work. Therefore, the email addresses used should match the company’s domain. The email should always come from an official email address that reflects the organization’s domain or a subsidiary of the organization.|
||Never forward payments – they want to access your bank account and money.|
||Legitimate jobs never ask for an initial investment. However, some network marketing companies may ask you to pay a fee (or “pay a deposit”) to obtain their sample product for demonstration. In essence, they are still asking for money so you can have a job.|
||If the listed website is not working, does not exist, or the URL goes to another unassociated website, then the employment opportunity is most likely not real.|
||If the employyr kant spel, du u reely wanna werk 4 them? Poor spelling and grammar suggests the job announcement was written by a non-professional and therefore the job is probably not legitimate.|
||This is designed to entice you, to get you to apply. Think wisely – how many legitimate companies can afford high wages for low skilled jobs? Why would they pay these wages?|
||Most formal jobs will have an office as your base. “Working from home” is often a “convenience hook” that takes advantage of people who want an easy job situation. In addition, working from home forces you to use your personal resources. However, working from home may be legitimate so carefully research these jobs.|
||Legitimate employers do not need to use your bank account! Also, these checks typically bounce – but you are then held responsible for all the bank charges and any money used, wired, or processed.|
||In the US, most legitimate jobs do not ask for a photo. On some very special applications a photo may need to be attached – but this only happens with profession-specific jobs and is actually very rare.|
||Legitimate employers will openly and willingly provide a detailed job description of the job responsibilities and duties to see if you are a good fit for the position and will also state the work location. Any “employer” who hesitates… Be careful!|
||Legitimate employers take time to sort through applications to find the best candidates. Fraudulent jobs are just looking for personal information, not your skills, which is why they respond immediately. They are hoping an immediate response makes you feel special – a trick used to get you to share personal information.|
||Fraudulent job postings are despicable and designed to take you in without knowing you are being scammed, so scammers will try to keep themselves well-hidden.|
||A legitimate business wants to be accessible to clients, business partners, and applicants so the number will be active!|
||Legitimate organizations and companies use their website to attract clients and customers, not just potential employees. Check the URL – is it a real company website? Scammers often create quick, basic webpages that seem legit at first glance.|
||Sounds exciting, but these postings often include a request for your banking information, supposedly to help the employer make transactions. What they want is access to your bank account and money.|
||If information about the company is difficult to find, it is most likely a scam. Consult Career Services with any questions or concerns.|
Researching Possible Scams
You can check to see if a company is legitimate through various websites (some listed below).
- Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/
- Chamber of Commerce: http://www.uschamber.com/
- Hoover’s: http://www.hoovers.com/
- White Pages: http://www.whitepages.com/business
If you contact the company directly, you can ask if the person actually works there. Don’t share personal information unless you are confident that the person and the company are legitimate.
If you search the internet using key phrases, such as “fraudulent job postings” or “scam job postings,” you’ll get many online articles and reports that may be helpful.
You can also search the company name with the word “scam” to get a variety of internet hits associated with the company. Know that some of the links that come up may be just discussion, but there may be actual articles or references.
Protect Your Personal and Private Information
For job applications, you should not provide your credit card number, bank account number, PayPal account, driver’s license number, or any PIN number over the phone or online.
Many job applications will ask you to provide your Social Security number and date of birth, but this information is not solicited over the phone or email. This information is typically a part of a formal job application that candidates complete in writing, often on the day of their first in-person interview.
Always know with whom you’re sharing personal information – and how it will be used. If someone asks for sensitive personal information, get the person’s name, the company they work for and the phone number. If they hesitate, something’s up!
What to do if You Discover You’ve Been Scammed
If you have encountered a fraudulent posting, company or organization, please contact the Employer Relations Team at Career Services via phone (973.596.3227) or e-mail email@example.com so the posting can be investigated and appropriate action can be taken.
You should immediately contact the local police. The police are responsible for conducting an investigation (regardless of whether the scam artist is local or in another state).
If you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, you should contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges.
If the incident occurred completely over the internet, you should file an incident report with The United States Department of Justice (www.cybercrime.gov) and the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov).
Follow these safety tips when going on an interview:
- Always ensure it is in a public place and that someone knows of your plans to interview and the location.
- If your instincts tell you it’s suspicious, it probably is.
- Do not feel pressured to give personally identifiable information in an application if you are not comfortable during an interview or during online/phone contact.
- Ask to take the document with you to complete and return so you have time to research the issue further.
To learn more about employment scams, your rights, and appropriate actions, please visit this helpful page from the Riley Guide: http://www.rileyguide.com/scams.html
All materials herin are available for information and noncommercial uses only. Some content may be copyright protected by its respective owners and all rights thereto are reserved by the original owners. NJIT is not affiliated with these companies. NJIT is offering this information strictly as a public service and can make no guarantee as to the accuracy or suitability for a given purpose and all content is provided on an as is basis with no warranties of any kind.
If you have encountered a fraudulent posting on CDSlink, please contact a member of the Employer Relations Team so we can research the group and remove the employer from the system.
If you are ever concerned about the validity of a posting, please contact a member of the Employer Relations Team for assistance in researching the position.
Employer Relations: 973.596.3227 firstname.lastname@example.org