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Protecting Yourself from Scam Employers

We have pulled together these resources and information to educate students and alumni about scam companies and their tactics.

Common Job Scams:

Check Cashing – Applicant is sent check, asked to cash it and wire funds to scam company. When the applicant’s bank discovers the check is fake, the amount is subtracted from applicant’s account.

Reshipping – Packages are shipped to the applicant’s residence with instructions to reship the packages to another address. Packages contain stolen property, which the police track back to the applicant’s address.

Envelope Stuffing – Applicant pays a fee and asked to post the same ad he/she applied for. Applicant is paid based on the number of responses to the ad.

Medical Billing – Applicant is asked for upfront investment. As it is very difficult to compete in the medical billing industry, the applicant generally can not make back his/her initial investment.

Work at Home List – Applicant is fooled into purchasing a worthless list.

Assembly or Craft Work – Applicant is asked to pay for equipment or materials to produce goods. Applicant’s work is then determined to be not “up to standard” and is not paid for goods produced.

Rebate Processing – Applicant pays upfront for training, certification or registration, and there are no rebates for the applicant to process.

Online Searches – Applicant is asked to pay a small fee to get started. Scam companies steal the credit or debit card information.

Phishing – Applicant is directed to a false web site asking for personal or sensitive information. Scam companies steal the identity information.

Ways Students and Grads Can Protect Yourself 

  • Be on the lookout for employer emails with grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Avoid job listings that use these descriptions: “package forwarding,” “reshipping,” “money transfers,” “wiring funds” and “foreign agent agreements.”
  • Don’t be fooled by official-sounding corporate names. Some scam artists operate under names that sound like those of long-standing, reputable firms.
  • Check out the company’s domain address. Many use slightly misspelled ones to mimic those belonging to real companies.
  • Be skeptical if the salary and benefits offered seem too good to be true .
  • Never forward or transfer money from any of your personal accounts on behalf of your employer. Also, be suspicious if you are asked to ”wire” money to an employer. If a legitimate job requires you to make money transfers, the money should be withdrawn from the employer’s business account, not yours. 
  • Do not give out your personal financial information. A potential legitimate employer will not request your bank account, credit card o  Paypal account number. Only provide your banking information if you are hired by a legitimate company and you choose to have your paycheck direct deposited.
  • Do not fax copies of your ID or Social Security number to someone you have never met. Credit checks and fake IDs can be obtained with this information. Only give these documents to your employer when you are physically at the place of employment.

What to Do if You are Scammed

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.goc/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)
  • File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( Examples of How Schools Can Protect Themselves Some schools have disclaimers on their eRecruiting web sites urging students and alums to exercise caution and common sense when applying to jobs.

Examples of Warnings on School Sites