Avoid being scammed!


Learn how to tell if a job offer is legitimate

The Career Center is committed to helping AU students and alumni understand all facets of the job search process. In light of some recent job scams that have come to our attention, we’ve prepared this information to help you identify fraudulent job offers.

Red flags:

  • Sender’s email address is @gmail.com, yahoo.com, hotmail.com, rocketmail.com, etc.
    • Legitimate employer messages will usually come from a .com, .gov, or .org email address rather than a personal email address as listed above
  • Non-specific job opportunity
    • Legitimate employer messages will usually reference a specific job title or description
  • Money transfers not tied to any goods or services
    • Legitimate employers, for the most part, won’t send you a check or money order and ask you to deposit the check and send money back to them.

The third and final red flag has been a common thread among recent job scams—the ‘employer’ will send a check, ask you to deposit it and then ask you to either write them a check or withdraw cash to purchase “Greet Dot Money Cards,” or similar, and to send them the pin codes for those cards.  Unfortunately, the check fails to clear the bank account, after you have withdrawn the funds. This can  leave you  in a financial crisis. REMEMBER THIS: LEGITIMATE EMPLOYERS WILL NOT ASK YOU TO DO BUSINESS THROUGH YOUR PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT.

Should it be the case that you have been in touch with one of these fraudulent ‘employers,’ complied with his/or her request for depositing a check and feel compelled to take further action, please contact DC Metropolitan Police at (202) 698-0888. Please note that in past incidents, students who have reported these scams to the police have been directed to the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, you may file the complaint and forward any received documents to the Federal Trade Commission.

If you suspect a fraudulent employer has posted a position on AU CareerWeb, please contact the AU Career Center immediately. We have measures in place to ensure that only bona fide and quality employers are allowed to recruit through AU CareerWeb, however we cannot vouch for each and every listing. If you encounter questionable job or internship postings or employer profiles, please call us at 202-885-1804.

We’ve compiled a brief list of online resources with information about detecting fraudulent emails and postings, and for filing complaints about scams:

Ripoff Report http://www.ripoffreport.com

About.com: Job Scams http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchscams/qt/scamexamples.htm

Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Better Business Bureauhttps://www.bbb.org/file-a-complaint/

Please note that scams are originating both from fake organizations and scammers claiming to represent real organizations.