The Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) at the Fox School of Business offers FoxNet as a resource for employers to connect with Fox School of Business students and alumni seeking internships, co-ops, and career related jobs. We strive to keep fraudulent and scam postings off FoxNet as each employer and position is carefully reviewed by someone on our Corporate Relations team. Despite our stringent efforts to carefully review over a thousand job postings each semester; it is very difficult to ensure that every job posting is legitimate, and impossible to keep track of every employer and position after submission. 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.
It is also the responsibility of students to perform due diligence in researching employers when applying for or accepting private, off-campus employment and to thoroughly research the facts and reputation of each organization to which they are applying. Students should be prudent and use common sense and caution when applying for or accepting any position.
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
- Do not give your personal bank account, PayPal account, or credit card information to a new employer.
- 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.)
- Do not forward, transfer or send by courier (i.e. FedEx, UPS), or “wire” any money to any employer, for any employer, using your personal account(s).
- Do not transfer money and retain a portion for payment.
- Do not respond to suspicious and/or “too good to be true” unsolicited job emails.
- In general, applicants do not pay a fee to obtain a job.
Red Flags: How to Identify a Potentially Fraudulent Job Posting
- You are asked to give credit card, bank, or PayPal account numbers
- You are asked to send a payment by wire service or courier, or are asked to transfer money, including via e-Bay, PayPal or Western Union money orders
- You receive an unexpectedly large check or are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account – often for depositing checks or transferring money
- You are asked for personal information such as your Social Security Number, or to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver’s license to “verify identity”
- You are asked to complete a background check before you can be considered for a position.
- The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact’s email address doesn’t match the company’s website domain (i.e., email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The job posting doesn’t mention the responsibilities of the job; rather it focuses on the amount of money you will make.
- A Google search of the employer name (or name plus the word “scam”) returns several scam reports.
- In response to your application to a legitimate-appearing job description, you receive a marketing email to sell you job search “help.”
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 they work for 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, 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 Corporate Relations Team via phone (215-204-2371) or email 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 correspondence.
- 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
If you have encountered a fraudulent posting on FoxNet, please contact a member of the Corporate 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 Corporate Relations Team for assistance in researching the position.
Corporate Relations: 215-204-2371 or firstname.lastname@example.org