Avoiding fraudulent jobs

While you are working hard to ensure that you land a job, be aware that the perfect opportunity may not be what it seems. Con artists and scammers post fraudulent positions to try to take your money, personal information, or both. These jobs are often marketed as easy and convenient ways to earn money with little effort.

Recognizing a Fraudulent Job

For more information on job offers as phishing scams, check out these examples:

Red Flags In The Job

If you have already started working, be on the lookout for these red flags:

Five Rules to Follow

1. Do not give away your personal bank information, PayPal information, or similar financial app information to a new employer.

This is a ploy to get access to your bank account and money. Legitimate jobs will not ask for this information on a job application, by phone, or over email.

2. Do not forward, transfer, send by courier, or "wire" any money to any employer, or on behalf of any employer, using your personal accounts.

Scammers may tell you that they are not set up in your geographic location and need you to use your personal accounts and resources to help them get established. They may send you a check and ask for you to transfer the money somewhere while you keep a portion of it as your payment. More often than not, these checks bounce. In the meantime, the bank will hold you responsible for any transaction they have sent at your direction to other accounts. A legitimate business does not ever need you to use your personal bank account for their transactions.

3. Do not click on a link in an email without checking where it goes first.

Malicious links can be hidden in plain sight, often disguised as legitimate. Hover your cursor over a link to see where the link will actually take you.

4. Never download an attachment from a suspicious email.

A scammer may tell you that the attachment is software that you will need to do a job, but it could be malicious software designed to infect your computer and steal your personal information. 

5. Do your research.

Look into the organization by exploring its web pages and social media. Is there a legitimate website? Does the contact information match the message you have received? If you google the company name followed by the word scam, the results will reveal any scam reports concerning the organization. If information about the company is hard to find, then it most likely is a scam.

If you have any concerns about the validity of any job you run across or report a phishing scam, please contact the VCU IT Support Center and VCU Police for assistance.