Fraudulent Jobs

Protect yourself from fraudulent jobs

It is our goal to provide IU students with the best job and internship opportunities through Handshake, our online job portal. Despite our efforts to properly vet opportunities and ensure legitimacy, an occasional fraudulent job posting ends up on Handshake. Often, the purpose of scam postings is to steal your identity and/or money. It is vitally important that you know how to distinguish legitimate internship and job postings from scams. If ever in doubt, contact your career services office. Additionally, use the following information to best equip yourself while reviewing job and internship postings.

Core essentials for identifying scams

Description of the video:


In this segment we're going to cover our core essentials to avoiding a job posting scam. So these are going to be our six major takeaways from the actual document.

Number One: Never give out your personal bank account, paypal, credit card or any other financial account information to a new employer.

Number Two: do not agree to have any funds or paychecks directly deposited into any of your accounts by a new employer without first verifying their legitimacy. Most employers will give you the option to do direct deposit but this won't occur as a part of the application process. You'll want to set this up with your HR, or whoever it is it's administering payroll after you've already been hired. 

Number Three: do not forward, transfer, send by courier (that would be UPS, FedEx, anything like that) or wire any money to an employer using your personal account number. 

Number Four: don't transfer money and retain a portion of payment. This is a pretty common scam, we've seen it come through myJobs before when an illegitimate employer will ask you to send a check for a certain amount of money with the promise that in return, it will send you that money back plus some. This is never going to be a legitimate opportunity through myJobs. There will never by any type of opportunity where you would make an investment.

Number Five: do not respond to any suspicious or too good to be true opportunities. Again, just like the old adage says: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

And then last (Number Six): You will never be asked to pay a fee to obtain a job. While there might be legitimate opportunities out there that require you to purchase products to sell or to pay for a certification or training, we don't post those jobs on myJobs. That goes against our office's policy, so if you see anything that asks you to pay a fee, please report that to us so we can have it removed.

And on this next page here we're going to see contact information for our office. You can reach out to us to do any of that reporting of suspicious or fraudulent job postings. You're going to see this in the next couple videos as well, so write down this information, become familiar with it, and let us know where you find anything that might be suspicious. 

Thanks for tuning in and we'll see you in the next video!


Identifying red flags

Description of the video:


In this video we're going to cover how to identify a potentially fraudulent job posting and go over the major red flags, what we see when we find suspicious and fraudulent job postings.

So, if a company requires you to provide financial information like bank accounts, credit cards or other financial documentation as a part of the application process that's a major red flag.

In the posting if it appears to be from a reputable familiar company but the email domain and the website don't match up, for instance, if we use IU at if that didn't match up with the original if that didn't match up with the actual website, then there could be an issue. We don't allow employers to post jobs if their email address and their website don't match up so if you see a discrepancy there, it's going to be a problem and you should report that to us. 

Next, if the position requires a fee or investment. Again, these can be legitimate job opportunities, but that goes against our policy. We don't post those on myJobs, so if you find it through myJobs, it's an error and it should be reported, and you should not apply for it.

And then, if the company website is not active, if it doesn't exist, or reroutes you to a different website that isn't actually affiliated with the employer, that's often something a scammer will employ to get you to provide your information to make you think that you're doing something that's legitimate, but it actually isn't.

Next, more red lines so if the posting includes many spelling or grammatical errors that's often a big red flag.

If there's a high salary or wage listed for a job that requires minimum skills. Again, keep repeating if it's too good to be true it probably is. If the job sounds like it pays the minimum wage, but the employer is offering $20 an hour, it's probably a scam. 

Next, if the position initially appears as a traditional job, but then the employer asks you to do something unrelated to the posting, that's probably going to be a scam. For instance, if an employer changes some of the details after you've been hired, there can be issues with that. Be very careful when you're looking at those types of positions.

If you're asked to provide a photo of yourself, this isn't really a common practice in the United States, there are some specific industries like the entertainment industry that might require a headshot, but this is pretty rare. If you see a posting that requires that, please proceed with caution. 

Next, the posting doesn't mention responsibilities and only focuses on earning potential. A good job posting is going to tell you the duties and responsibilities that you're going to have, and if it's just focusing on something that sounds too good to be true, it's probably a trap. 

Next, if the employer responds immediately to you after you submit your resume or application, most legitimate employers are going to take their time reviewing resumes, and reviewing applications, if they respond immediately after you send in your information, you should use extreme caution moving forward.

And if it's difficult to find an address, phone number, or any other contact information. Scammers are going to attempt to remain anonymous while legitimate companies are going to encourage contact for their customers and their business partners and anybody to really drive traffic to their website and into their business. If you see a posting and you can't really get that good contact information, it's probably a big red flag and you should move forward with caution. 

Again, if you encounter anything that seems suspicious, too good to be true, or something that you know is downright fraudulent, please contact us at this information again. Write it down, save it somewhere important, because when you see something, we want to know so we can do some more research and remove/ban employers that are not engaging and following the rules that we've set forth. 

Thanks for tuning in to this one and we'll see you in the next video. 


Researching scams and protecting your information

Description of the video:


In our previous videos we've covered our core essentials and red flags that we can use to identify scams. Now we're going to go through how to research these possible scams and what you can do to protect your personal and private information.


First and foremost, practice discretion and look into those opportunities and employers that you're interested in. Whether you feel pretty confident about it or if you think it might be suspicious, it never hurts to do some extra research.


We have a few websites here that you can use to do more research.


Number one, the Better Business Bureau, it’s a great way to look into different organizations that are at the event or posting jobs and you can see their legitimacy based on other peoples’ reports.


The next one is any local Chamber of Commerce. You can look up the Bloomington one here in town, or there’s a U.S. chamber as well. Check it out. A reputable organization is going to be on a Chamber of Commerce directory more than likely, so that’s a great way to do some research.


And the last is the website.


These are some really great websites that have been used by other colleges that we have compiled to more research.


Again, if you encounter anything that might be fraudulent, if you see some red flags based on the previous video that we saw, or something looks funny - after you’ve done your own research - please report it to us, so we can continue that effort to look into these organizations and ban anyone who might not be following the rules.


Now, how to protect your private and personal information.


For job applications, again, you should never provide your credit card number, bank account, PayPal account, pin number, or any other financial information over the phone or online. Once you’re hired you might be asked to provide your social security number, date of birth, or direct deposit information, but this will never be solicited over the phone or by email. You’ll want to do this in a secure setting. This information is typically part of the formal job application that candidates complete in-writing often on the day of their impression interview or after they’ve actually been hired. If you see somebody requesting this over the internet or through the initial part of that job application, that’s probably a scam so please don’t move forward.


Again, you’ll want to verify the legitimacy of the company and the person that you’re working with before you provide that information and always know who you’re sharing information with and how it’s going to be used. If someone asks for sensitive or personal information, get that person’s name, their contact information, the company they work for, and if they start to act nervous/if they get squirmy when you ask, then you can probably assume that something’s up.


What to do if you've been scammed

Description of the video:


In this last video we’re going to go over what to do if you find yourself in that unfortunate situation where you believe you’ve been scammed.

The first step is to contact the local police here in Bloomington. That’s either the Indiana University Police Department or the Bloomington Police Department. You’ll need to contact the local police department because they’re responsible for conducting that investigation regardless of whether the scam artist is located here, or out-of-town, out-of-state, or out-of-country, because you’re here in Bloomington. You’ll want to contact the local police, they’re the ones that start the criminal investigation.

After you’ve done that, if you’ve sent money or financial information, you’re going to need to call your financial institution. When you’re on the phone with them you’re going to close your account and dispute the charge. Then after you’ve done that, last but not least, call our office, let us know what’s happened so we can remove that posting, ban that employer and we’ll contact any other students that might have submitted information so they know, and they can protect themselves as well.

Here’s out contact information where you can email us or give us a phone call so we can take care of any suspicious or fraudulent postings that you come across. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to come in and see us. We have drop-in advising (career coaching) that you can come in, you can meet with your advisor (career coach), or you can call or email us, and we can help you through the process.

Thanks so much for tuning in, good luck finding those awesome opportunities and we look forward to seeing you here at the Career Development Center!


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