Monday, December 7, 2020

How to Avoid Job Scams

Take an active role in protecting yourself from job scams that seek to take advantage of you as a job seeker. Review these potential red flags so you can protect yourself from fraudulent employers. If you have any suspicion that an employment opportunity may be fraudulent, seek the advice of the University Career Center or Feller Center Career Planning Team

Job Scam Red Flags

  • It is difficult to find additional information about the employer (employer name, website, physical address, LinkedIn account)
  • The organization does not have a physical address, or the address is a residential (home) address or P.O. Box
  • The organization website does not work properly, possesses very limited information, or provides information not related to the organization at all
  • The contact email address for the organization differs from that of the organization name (e.g., the organization is KPMG however the contact’s email is or
  • The organization shows up when you do a Google search using the employer name and the word “scam”
  • The employer offers you a position without any interaction with you (no phone or in-person interview, rather solely upon an email or resume)
  • The position description is not professionally written; includes spelling and grammatical errors
  • The job description is very vague and the compensation for the work outlined seems too good to be true
  • The position requires that you complete an “assignment” prior to the official start date to test your ability to do the job effectively

Protect Yourself from Job Scams

  • Never give out any personal information including bank information, social security number, etc.
  • Never agree to purchase any items (e.g., supplies or gift cards). Many jobs scams will ask the applicant to use their own funds to cover the cost of supplies, shipping, etc., with the promise of reimbursement that never comes. 
  • Evaluate an organization before applying:
    1. Check for a professional email address (e.g.,
    2. Look for a physical street address and check it on Google street view
    3. When in doubt, contact the University Career Center and ask for help researching the organization
  • If you suspect you are engaging with a fraudulent employer or are concerned about the legitimacy of a position:
    • End all contact with the employer immediately
    • Contact the University Career Center for assistance regarding next steps at or by calling 301-314-7225.
Learn more about avoiding job scams on the UCC website

Questions? Contact the Feller Center Career Planning office at