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How to Recognize a Job Scam

How to Recognize a Job Scam

It’s the beginning of Fall Semester, and you know what that means — those obnoxious phishing scams just keep pouring in, and their techniques have gotten even trickier. As students, faculty and staff settle into their new class routines, cybercriminals are out there eagerly waiting to try to rope you in with their fake job offers. It’s very important to protect yourself from these attacks, so we hope you’ll pay careful attention to the following objectives so you are cautious and do not fall for their tricks! Keep reading for helpful tips on how to spot a job scam so you don’t fall victim to them:

  1. Check the sender

When evaluating whether or not a job offer is a scam, be sure to check the sender. If the offer comes from a non-company email address (i.e. or, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate job offers will come from official company emails (i.e. or

  1. If it’s unsolicited, treat it with suspicion

If an unsolicited job offer finds its way into your inbox, treat it with suspicion. Unless you’ve applied to that specific position or company, it’s probably a scam.

  1. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is

If a job offer is too good to be true — for example, someone offers to pay you a large salary up front without even meeting you — it probably is. Offers of large salaries for little to no work should always be met with suspicion.

  1. Spelling and grammatical errors

Be on the lookout for spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as wacky formatting. These are telltale signs that a job offer is a scam.

  1. They’re out of town and only corresponding via email

If the “recruiter” says they’re out of town and can only be contacted via email, you’ve most likely received a job scam. Legitimate recruiters will ask for an interview first, and they’ll likely be available in more ways than just email — in person, phone, Zoom, etc.

  1. They’re asking you for money

Legitimate job offers will NEVER ask you for sensitive information such as bank account, PayPal or credit card numbers. If the email is asking you for money, report it to and then throw it away — it’s definitely a scam.

  1. Do your research

When you get a job offer — solicited or unsolicited — be sure to research the company first. If you can’t find a website or something about the website feels “off” or unprofessional, you’ve most likely received a scam. You should also check to see if the company is on LinkedIn.

  1. They’re rushing you

If the job offer has a sense of urgency or immediacy (for example, you HAVE to respond within 24 hours or you’ll lose the opportunity), it’s definitely a scam. Legitimate companies will never coerce or rush you into taking a job.

  1. The job offer is vague and unclear

When recruiters are looking for employees, they want their job descriptions to be as specific as possible. If a job advertisement or offer is general and doesn’t specifically describe what you’ll be doing and what skills you need, treat it with skepticism.

  1. Trust your gut

Your instincts are the most powerful protections. If something about a job offer, job description or even an interview doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away.

For more information, visit AND check out the CCPD/Fleishman Center page.

Received a “phishy” email? Report it to Stay on top of current/popular phishing emails via our Info Security page and the Phishing Tank:

Questions? Contact the Help Desk at 607-777-6420 or