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Blue and white graphic saying, "Identifying Fraudulent Employment Opportunities"

Basic Tips

  • If a job sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
  • Don’t provide financial information or your Social Security number! Legitimate employers won’t ask for your bank account details or your SSN.
  • Do not send money! Legitimate employers will not ask you to wire money or pay for services.
  • When in doubt, look for the job posting on the employer’s official website.  Much like phishing emails, scam job postings often capitalize on well-known names and images. Do not follow links from the suspicious posting, which could take you to a cosmetically similar page, and check the employment page to be sure the opening is real. Calling the company in question (again, using publicly available contact information) is another good strategy.
  • If you experience anything unusual about a job posting in Handshake, please contact CCI as soon as possible and flag the posting in Handshake.

Red Flags

  • The same warning signs that signal fraudulent emails and websites: bad grammar and spelling, requests for personal information, and difficulty contacting or identifying the poster are all clear signs of trouble.
  • Request for an initial investment.
  • Request for bank account access.
  • Requests for payment or transferring money.
  • Offers to pay a large amount of money for little work.
  • Offers you a job without interviewing/interacting with you.
  • You are contacted by phone, and the number is not available.
  • Vague descriptions that focus on money rather than the job.
  • Email domain that doesn’t match the employer’s official domain.
  • Email domain of a free provider is used such as,,, etc. Legitimate organizations almost always have their own email systems.
  • Website that has information only on the job you’re applying for, rather than about the company in general.

What if I’m already involved in a scam?

Resources from Handshake

Best Practices for Job Searches

Protecting Your Personal Information

Handshake Privacy Policy

Handshake Terms of Service

More Resources

Middlebury College – Tips on spotting phishing

Federal Trade Commission – Avoiding and Reporting Scams

World Privacy Forum, Consumer Tips: Critical Tips For Job Seekers to Avoid Job Scams

Better Business Bureau, Scam Tracker