Avoiding Employment Scams While on the Job/Internship Hunt

April, May, and June is the season of the year when students are either applying for internships or applying for their first positions after school. While this is a time to celebrate the milestones, this is also a time to learn of the various employment scams targeting new job candidates.

Organizations and individuals can pose as employers to gather personal information and/or defraud their targets. Scammers will promote jobs the same way legitimate employers do – online on job boards, social media, and even on TV and radio. While IU’s online job portal, Handshake,  posts current job and internship opportunities for Indiana University students, it is not foolproof. Despite moderation and best safety practices, fraudulent job postings make appearances on Handshake. If you see any suspicious postings on Handshake or other career search sites, reach out to your IUB School of Public Health Career Services Team for assistance in verifying a scam.

Warning Signs of a Scam:

  • Legitimate companies will interview you before hiring. If someone gives you an on-the-spot job offer without an interview, or an email with an offer you didn’t apply for, it’s a scam.
  • Grammatical errors and typos in communication.
  • If they ask you to pay for the job or job application, it’s a scam.
  • Ads promoting high compensation and easy income with no employment requirements on job-related websites are usually scams.
  • Potential employers requiring employees to purchase start-up equipment from the company is a scam.
  • Emails that come from an individual’s email address not affiliated with company (xyz@affiliated company) are scams.

NEVER respond to:

  • Request for personal identification (e.g., bank account number, driver’s license number, social security number) outside of a formal and secure HR process
  • Solicitation demanding financial transactions (depositing or withdrawing personal funds bank account to send elsewhere)

How to confirm if a posting is legitimate:

  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Research the company to confirm:
    • if the job posting also on the company website job board.
    • if the company has a physical address and an active website.
    • if the company has a professional networking on LinkedIn.
    • if the recruiter contacting you has a job title that exists on the company’s job boards or directory.
  • Learn if there are complaints against the company through research with the Better Business Bureau.

Do not hesitate to contact IUB School of Public Career Services Team if you have any questions or concerns. For more information on job scams, review the Fraudulent Jobs content provided by the IU Career Development Center.

By Nan Rockey
Nan Rockey Career Consultant