Scam Alert! Watch Out for Fraudulent Opportunities

Catarina Caulfield
May 01, 2019

As a Rutgers student, you work hard with the expectation that your education will help build the qualifications and skills necessary to secure a meaningful career. You apply for various jobs and internships, anxiously awaiting to hear back from employers.

So naturally, you get excited when you receive an email from an employer stating they would like to offer you a position with their company.  You think, “YES!” and maybe even do a happy dance.

In fact, you may be so excited that you read right through spelling and grammar errors in the email (STRIKE 1!).

You may also not notice that the employer never addressed you by name, or that the offer contains little or no real information about the business or the opportunity (STRIKE 2!).  

Then the employer asks you to send over your bank information so that they can wire you your first paycheck, and you are so excited to get started that you start typing in your account number (STRIKE 3!).

A few days later, you receive a notification from your bank that you have a zero balance. UH-OH! (YOU’RE OUT!)

While it can be exciting to receive a job offer, it is important to stay vigilant and aware of potential scams. Luckily, there are red flags to be mindful of and resources to help you if you ever find yourself being scammed.

What are some red flags to look for? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

  • (Easy Bake Oven) Non-business email addresses: The employer’s email address does not match the company website or is from a generic email domain such as Gmail.
  • (Fireplace) Writing errors: Your offer letter contains various spelling or grammar errors.
  • (4th of July Fireworks) High salary or wage for the industry/position: The salary or wage is very high for an entry-level position and seems too good to be true.
  • (5-Alarm Fire) Lack of information: The offer email contains little or no information about the position or the company.
  • (Raging Inferno) No interview process: The position is being offered to you, but you have never interviewed (or perhaps never even applied) for the role.
  • (Volcanic Eruption) Asking for personal banking or identity information: The employer asks you to send your bank or credit card information, or requires you to email identifying documentation, such as your driver’s license or Social Security card.

What should you do if you are contacted by a potentially fraudulent employer or come across a fraudulent job posting?

If you think you may have been contacted by a potentially fraudulent employer or are unsure about an offer or job posting, you can always contact the Employer Relations Team at Career Exploration and Success (recruiting@echo.rutgers.edu). The team will review the offer or job posting and will work with you to assess the situation. 

What should you do if you have been scammed by a fraudulent employer?

  • Let us help you put out the fire! Immediately report the situation to the Employer Relations Team at Career Exploration and Success (recruiting@echo.rutgers.edu), and provide as much information as possible, including copies of any email exchanges. The Employer Relations Team will work with you to assess next steps, which may include:

If you have any doubts about a position, offer, or employer, please contact Career Exploration and Success before engaging with a potentially fraudulent situation. It is much easier to take preventative measures than to repair the damage done by these scams. 

View a list of recently reported fraudulent jobs.

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