How can you spot a fake? Even though most employers and job postings are legitimate, there are fraudulent employers who may try to take advantage of naïve candidates. Learning how to identify a fraudulent opportunity will protect you now and in the future.
NOTE: The Career Center makes every effort to screen employers and job/internship opportunities but cannot guarantee the legitimacy of every posting.
If you believe that a company is a fraud or you are not sure, contact the Career Center immediately at 856-225-6046 or email@example.com.
- The pay seems unrealistic for the position (make $2,500 from home or $20 per hour for clerical work).
- The posting is full of typos/spelling errors/grammatical mistakes.
- You receive an unsolicited email from an employer who says they got your information from "your school database" and/or they ask for an alternate email address. Rutgers University does not share student contact information with outside entities without permission.
- The email is addressed to multiple people, especially if they are all @rutgers.edu addresses.
- The job description is very vague, focuses on your extraordinary earning potential, and/or doesn’t describe the job responsibilities.
- You are offered a job without an interview or you are contacted for an interview almost immediately after submitting your resume.
- The employer isn't available to meet with you but they need to fill the job immediately.
- There is limited information available about the company and/or their website does not contain a lot of information (see research suggestions).
- The employer emails you but doesn’t provide a valid phone number or the area code of the phone number does not match the business address, i.e. area code is from Arizona but the company is based out of New York.
- The email address mimics a well-known company domain but doesn’t match their official website such as @amazon.net or @googgle.com.
- The employer uses a non-corporate email address like @yahoo.com or @gmail.com.
- You’re asked for a photo, bank account/PayPal/credit card information, or sensitive personal documents.
- You’re asked for your bank account because they want to pay you up front.
- You have to make a large financial investment or pay for certification to get started (this could be a “Ponzi” scheme).
- You have to transfer funds in and out of your bank account or accept large deposits.
You should conduct an online search for the following:
- The company name: Does the website address you have come up in the search results?
- The company name with the words: scam, fraud, fraudulent.
- The address (and use the street view): Is the address an office building or a private home? If it’s a corporate office, try searching for the landlord to verify occupancy.
Examine their website in detail for the following:
- Information about services/products, clients, executive leadership, company history, and detailed location information.
- Careers/Jobs/Employment section of their website. Is your job listed? Is there someone you can call or email who is NOT the same person who posted the position? If so, contact that person to verify the posting.
- Search these websites:
- Contact the Career Center staff: 856-225-6046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Report phishing scams to IT
- Contact your local police.
- If you’ve sent money, shared your bank account/credit card information, or received money, contact your financial institutions immediately.
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Report it to your state’s attorney general’s office.
- Federal Trade Commission:
- U.S. Postal Inspector (Mail Fraud)