DePaul University Career Center's Blog

Dos and Don’ts to Avoid Job Scams

Dos and Don’ts to Avoid Job Scams

By Amy Do, Career Community Advisor

According to the FTC, Americans lost $68 million dollars to job scams in 2022. Even postings on legitimate channels like ads, jobs sites, and social media can be fraudulent. Protect yourself and your loved ones from employment fraud using the following best practices. 

Do:

Research the employer. Read the job description carefully, and see if there are any links to outside company websites. Review the materials posted in the description: Is it thorough and well-written? Go on sites like Glassdoor and Fishbowl to see what current and past employees have to say about the company. B2B and B2C corporate websites should have a “portfolio” section that highlights their current clients. Additionally, several sites including ScamPulse.com are dedicated to letting victims report fraudulent job schemes. Do your research before applying to make sure the job posting is legitimate. 

Talk to someone you trust.  Discuss the contents of the job description and compensation rates with a trusted colleague, friend, or family member. What do they think of the opportunity? This can also help you think out loud and give you valuable feedback. A DePaul Career Advisor can also be a sounding board for industry-specific advice for your career community. 

Report Job Scams to the FTC. If you do discover that a job posting is fraudulent, report it to the relevant authorities. You can report fraud at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/. If the job was posted on Handshake, you can report it using the Flag an Employer feature. 

Don’t:

Give out confidential information over the phone or to an unverified source. A legitimate employer will never ask you to give out information such as bank routing numbers or social security numbers over the phone. Be sure to verify that you are speaking with an actual representative from a well-established company before divulging any confidential information. 

Take money orders or cashier’s checks as a form of payment. Fake checks are common, and the bank where you deposit fraudulent checks will hold you accountable. Although money orders may be a valid form of payment for jobs such as babysitting a neighbor, corporate jobs will never use these methods for compensation. You will be responsible for any fees that are associated with attempting to deposit fraudulent checks, not the employer! 

Wire money to an employer. Any job opportunity that asks YOU to send them funds via wire transfer or through an organization like MoneyGram or Western Union is a scammer. Employees should never be responsible for their own training or onboarding fees.

Watch the recording of the Career Center Event “Scams in the Job Search” to learn in-depth about common job scams and how to avoid them. 

If you are feeling unsure whether a job is a scam, err on the side of caution. Put these best practices into action by booking an appointment with the Career Center to review any questionable job openings. 

Not sure if a job opening is a scam? Feeling lost in your job search and need support along the way? That’s exactly where the Career Center comes in. Whether you’re a freshman or an alumnus, it’s never too early (or too late) to utilize our services. Book an appointment with Amy, or another member of the advising community through Handshake, or by calling the front desk at (773) 325-7431. 

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