Career Services

Safety Tips When Searching for Jobs Online

HPU Connect is provided as a convenient online resource for HPU students and alumni job seekers.  While the staff at the Career Services Center monitors the jobs posted on the site, we make no representations or guarantees about positions posted on HPU Connect and are not responsible for determining the legitimacy or suitability of any particular job or employer.  

It is very important that students and alumni should take all necessary precautions when applying for or accepting a position.  Please read position descriptions carefully and exercise common sense and caution in your job search. 

FRAUD JOB POSTING RED FLAGS
Here are some warning signs to alert you that a job posting may be fraudulent:

  • You must provide your social security number, credit card, bank or PayPal account numbers, or other personal financial documentation.  (DO NOT provide any personal information especially social security numbers or financial information!)
  • The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact's e-mail address doesn't match the company's website domain (i.e., jdoe@gmail.com rather than jdoe@companyname.com). 
  • The contact email address contains the domain @live.com.
  • The position requires an initial investment, such as a payment by wire service, courier, etc.
  • The posting includes many spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The position initially appears as a traditional job but upon further research, it sounds more like an independent contractor opportunity.
  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account (often for depositing checks or transferring money).
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check (checks are typically slightly less than $500, generally sent or deposited on Fridays).
  • You are requested to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver's license to "verify identity"
  • You are asked to provide a photo of yourself. 
  • The position is for any of the following: Envelope Stuffers, Home-based Assembly Jobs, Online Surveys.
  • The posting neglects to mention what the responsibilities of the job actually are. Instead, the description focuses on the amount of money to be made.
  • The position indicates a "first year compensation" that is in high excess to the average compensation for that position type.
  •  Look at the company's website. Does it have an index that tells you what the site is about; or does it contain information only about the job you are interested in? Scammers often create quick, basic web pages that seem legit at first glance.
  • Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact, company name, etc. - this is cause to proceed with caution. Fraud postings are illegal, so scammers will try to keep themselves well-hidden.
  • The salary range listed is very wide (i.e. "employees can earn from $40K - $80K the first year!")
  • When you Google the company name and the word "scam" (i.e. Acme Company Scam), the results show several scam reports concerning this company. Another source for scam reports is: http://www.ripoffreport.com.
  • Google the employer's phone number, fax number and/or email address. If it does not appear connected to an actual business organization, this is a red flag.  You can verify organizations using websites such as the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/us/consumers/), Hoovers (http://www.hoovers.com/) and AT&T's Anywho (http://www.anywho.com/).
  • The employer contacts you by phone, however there is no way to call them back. The number is not available.
  • The employer tells you that they do not have an office set-up in your area, and will need you to help them get it up and running (these postings often include a request for your banking information, supposedly to help the employer make transactions).

If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a job or internship posting,  please report it to the Career Services Center immediately at csc@hpu.edu or 544-0230.

If you feel you are involved in a job scam, you should:

  • End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts carefully. 
  • Contact the police and report the fraud or scam, if appropriate.
  • If you have sent money to a fraud employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close your account and dispute the charges.
  • If the incident occurred entirely over the internet, file an incident report with the FCC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or at http://www.cybercrime.gov. 

More Information on Safe Online Job Searching: