Safety Tips for Online Job Searches

Overview, Tips, and Resources for Avoiding and Managing Fraudulent Postings

Online job tools, such as CareerWire, make finding jobs easier. Unfortunately, scam artists also try to take advantage of these same tools. NCU's Career Services screens every posting and employer that use CareerWire, and you should take the same caution when searching for a job.

If a job seems too good to be true, it probably is. If it seems fishy or uncomfortable, there is likely a good reason. When you apply for any job, evaluate its legitimacy. Also, consider that some postings that appear legitimate may not be so when following up with the scammer.

Watch for these common red flags:

  • Asking for your financial accounts (e.g. Credit/Debit card numbers, PayPal or bank account numbers)
  • Asking for your Social Security Number
  • Asking for you to wire money or cash checks on the employer's behalf
  • Asking for use of your bank account for transactions
  • Promises of  or receiving large amounts of money
  • Asking for documents to "verify your identity"
  • Required to complete a background check before considered for a position
  • Emails that don't match the company website or company name (e.g. hotmail or gmail for jobs at Target, Best Buy, etc.)
  • The job description focuses on the amount of money to be made, rather than the actual job (e.g. Make $20-100 per hour, from your dorm room!)

Also watch out for:

  • Common scam jobs: Work from home/dorm, virtual administrative assistant/bookkeeper, mystery shopper, etc.
  • Salary that is way higher than expected for entry-level or student work
  • Lots of misspellings or all lower case
  • Paying the employer upfront
  • International positions that don't provide much information
  • Being redirected to a different website
  • A completely different job description or email address after contacting the employer outside of the online site

If you are suspicious:

If you have already disclosed information or are a victim of a scam, report the incident to:

Disclaimer: North Central University and its Career Services are not responsible for the postings, jobs, employers, recruiters, or other external users of this system. While all postings and employers are vetted, misleading, fraudulent postings, and scams may be posted. It is the individual user's responsibility to evaluate the legitimacy of the posting and all additional communications with the posting party.