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Red Flag Series: Student Job Scams

Red Flag Series: Student Job Scams

As we near the close of the Academic Year, a lot of students are looking for work. Whether for the summer or their first post-graduation job, students are applying and recruiters are recruiting. While you’re in the crush of it all, it’s easy to see an email saying ‘You’re Hired!’ and let the excitement of a successful job search take over.

Unfortunately, scammers are counting on that to reel in their victims. To avoid being another victim, here are a few tips when job searching:

1.      Look up the company. Independently! Don’t just follow the links on the hiring ad or email. Instead, do a search and see for yourself what they are hiring for. Does the pay scale match? Is the job you’re being hired for actually there? Also, check out what other people say about the company itself.

2.      Be sure to check out the company website. If you haven’t heard of the company before, be sure to check out their Better Business Bureau listing and online reviews. Are they suspiciously new? Are all their reviews perfect 5 stars, no dissenting voices? Or if they’re an older, well-established company, what does their hiring section on the website say? Are they actually hiring for that position?

3.      NEVER, EVER, give them money. A legitimate company will not need you pay them, or purchase gift cards for them, or wire money to them.

4.      Double check who you’re getting the email from. Is it a company you applied for? Is it a field you’re looking at? Is the email an actual, professional email, or is it a random string of letters and numbers?

5.      Jobs that are ‘too good to be true’. Job ads that claim you will only have to work a strangely short amount of time but still rake in the cash are major Red Flags. Couple that with claims of ‘No experience needed’ or ‘work completely from home’ and you’ve got a perfect storm of Job Scam.


There are of course other things to look out for. We hope that this list gives you an idea of the Red Flags a job scam will throw up. Be sure to check out the following articles for further reading:

BBB Scam Alert: Employment scams target college students

FTC: College students are targeted with jobs scams, too

IUP: Don’t Fall for Fake Student Job Postings


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