Job Scams Are On the Rise: Here’s How to Avoid Them

Financial and phishing scams are happening more frequently on job posting sites or via email. These scams impact Penn State students daily and it’s your responsibility to research and work with trusted offices to avoid falling prey to sophisticated scams.

Scammers are incredibly sophisticated and aren’t always easy to spot. They pose as actual recruiters from valid companies, as organizations that work to provide you opportunities like international internships, or want to offer you a dream work-from-home scenario. Common scenarios that students see are:

  • Unsolicited Job Postings Emailed to Student
    Fraudulent employer sends student an email with legit looking job and asks to call, text or email back.
  • Fraudulent Person Posing as a Legitimate Employer
    Company or Recruiter name maybe legit but email address and contact information does not match legitimate employer.
  • Posing as Another Student, Faculty or Staff of Penn State University
    Email may come from and provide a job offer or work study opportunity and asks for further personal information.

Offered a job without applying? Penn State NEVER gives out your contact information to an employer. The only way an employer can access your information is if you apply to a posting through Nittany Lion Careers.

Being offered money or asked to send money prior to starting? Don’t give out your credit card, banking, or PayPal information. Valid employers will never ask for you to pay prior to hire.

Direct deposit should never be set up before you start working. This should be done with an actual HR professional during your first week on the job, often with a voided check. Never share your personal financial information digitally.

Scammers will often offer to send you a check to get started or set up a home office. These checks are fraudulent and can compromise your account. You should never deposit these checks.

Never forward, transfer, or wire money to an employer.

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By Emily Yanchuck
Emily Yanchuck Marketing Communications Specialist Emily Yanchuck