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Fraudulent Job Postings Warning

The Eagle Career Center offers Eagle Jobs as a resource for employers to connect with A&M-Texarkana students and alumni seeking co-ops, internships, part-time jobs, and full-time positions. We attempt to keep fraudulent postings off Eagle Jobs by using some common “red flags” that help to identify these types of listings. Red flags don’t automatically remove a job posting – we research the company and posting if suspicion arises, and then make a decision. Students and alumni should research suspicious companies or postings, too – or don’t apply. We are sharing these red flags below, so you, too, can attempt to identify such scam or fraudulent postings.  Eagle Career Center position: never apply to a suspicious job.

The following ideas are shared to help you conduct a safer job search and to help you protect your identity. These suggestions in no way cover all possible instances of fraud or exposure. Therefore, please always use your own discretion when applying to a position or interacting with a potential employer.  Fraudulent job postings try to take your money or your personal information. The jobs often look like easy and convenient ways to make money with very little effort. The old adage is accurate: If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t true!

Red Flags: The “employer” asks for, or posts…* But in truth,…
You must provide your credit card, bank account numbers, PayPal account, or other personal financial documentation. Legitimate jobs will not ask for this kind of information on an application or via email or by phone.
The posting appears to be from a reputable, familiar company (often a Fortune 500 Company). Yet, the domain in the contact's email address does not match the domain used by representatives of the company. Legit recruiters are directly associated with the company for whom they work. Therefore, the email addresses used should match the company’s domain.
The contact email address contains the domain @live.com, or a non-business email domain The email should always come from an official email address that reflects the organization’s domain or a subsidiary of the organization. Employer email addresses from Gmail, Yahoo!, etc., all suggest the employer does not have an official company domain and may not be a legitimate enterprise; research is required to verify status.
The “employer” is using a personal email address instead of a company email address Same as above – the email should be associated with the company. Employment communications are always official – so why not use an official email address?
You are asked to forward payments, by wire, courier, bank transfer, check, or through PayPal… This is a clear red flag. Never forward payments – they want to access your bank account and money!
The position requires an initial investment, such as a payment by wire service or courier (EX: UPS, FedEx). Legitimate jobs never ask for an initial investment. Never! Some network marketing companies may ask you to pay a fee (or “pay a deposit”) to obtain their sample product for demonstration. We do not post such positions as this is the same thing – they are asking for money so you can have a job.
The “company” website is not active, does not exist, or re-routes users to another website unaffiliated with the “company,” even though the “employer” listed a URL or website in the job announcement This is a significant red flag because if they listed the website and it is not working or does not exist, or if the URL goes to another unassociated website, then the employment opportunity is most likely not real.
The posting includes many spelling and grammatical errors. If the employyr kant spel, du u reely wanna werk 4 them? Poor spelling and grammar suggests the job announcement was written by a non-professional and therefore the job is probably not a legitimate job.
A high salary or wage is listed for a job that requires minimum skills This is designed to entice you, to get you to apply. Think wisely – how many legitimate companies can afford high wages for low skilled jobs? Why would they pay these wages?
The position states you will be working from home This is a red flag because most formal jobs have you working at an office or out of an office, using the office as your base. “Working from home” may be one of those “convenience hooks” that takes advantage of people who want an easy job situation because of their busy schedules.
Working from home may be legitimate, and you may be a “1099 independent contractor” rather than a regular employee - meaning – you will be responsible for all your tax liabilities. Always carefully research these jobs.
Key terms and phrases are used that suggest access to the top level of company management and you are a student (examples: CEO, Co-founder, CFO, etc.) It is possible selected candidates will have access to top level management personnel of a company, but typically this does not happen when you are a student. The times it does happen is when there is a specific management training program, for example, that is designed to have c-level leaders meet future leaders within the company. These programs are formalized and have printed documentation (brochures, part of the recruiting materials, etc.) Just so you know: even seasoned employees often have infrequent access to the top. Some fraudulent job postings entice applicants with such lofty access – it sounds so good!
The job is for a start-up business, a new small private company, and entrepreneurial enterprise just getting off the ground… These are red flags simply because new business efforts are used by scam artists as an exciting creative hook – because you get to be in “on the ground level.” These may be very legit jobs – you just have to research them carefully.
The position initially appears as a traditional job...but upon further research, it sounds more like an independent contractor opportunity. Independent contractor jobs (“1099 type self- employment”) mean you will be self-employed and accountable for associated IRS tax obligations. You will not have benefits and are not really an employee of the company. A contract needs to be made with the parent company. No contract? Don’t apply!
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). Legitimate employers do not need to use your bank account! This is an old scam with some new twists. Don’t allow “employers” to use your bank account since these checks are often fraudulent and will bounce, leaving you to cover the consequences.  In-home “check processing services” are a recent version of this scam.
You receive an unexpectedly large check (checks are typically slightly less than $500, generally sent or deposited on Fridays). Remember this old and very true piece of wisdom: If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is not true!!! These checks typically bounce –but you are held responsible for all the bank charges and any money you have used, wired, or processed.
You are asked to provide a photo of yourself.

In the United States, most legitimate jobs do not ask for a photo. Usually, the “employer” does not know this standard of practice in the US, indicating they are posting from another country.

On some very special applications a photo may need to be attached – but this only happens with profession-specific jobs and is actually very rare. Be careful as photos can be used for selection reasons not associated with your skills, abilities, and knowledge.

The position is for any of the following: Envelope Stuffers, Home-based Assembly Jobs, Online Surveys. Check Writing and Processing.

It is not to say that every envelope stuffer job you come across is a fraudulent posting! However, these positions often offer flexible hours and great pay -- and may be after your information… Be Cautious!

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.

Legitimate employers will provide a good description of the job responsibilities and duties to see if you are a good fit for the position. The description should state the work location. They will do this openly and willingly. And any “employer” who hesitates…. Be careful!

The employer responds to you immediately after you submit your résumé. Typically, résumés sent to an employer are reviewed by multiple individuals, or not viewed until the posting has closed. Note - this does not include an auto-response you may receive from the employer once you have sent your résumé.

Legitimate employers take their time to sort through applications to find the best candidates. Fraudulent jobs are just looking for your personal information, not your skills, which is why they respond immediately. They are hoping an immediate response makes you feel special – a trick used to get you to share personal information.

Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact information, a name, the company name, etc. - this is cause to proceed with extreme caution.

Fraudulent postings are despicable and are designed to take you in without you knowing you are being scammed, so the scammers will try to keep themselves well-hidden.

The employer contacts you by phone, however, there is no way to call them back. The number is not available or disconnected.

A legitimate business wants to be reachable for clients, business partners, and applicants -- so the number will be active!

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.

Legitimate organizations and companies will use their website to attract clients and customers, not just potential employees.
Check the URL – is it a real company website?

The employer tells you that they do not have an office in your geographic area and will need you to help them get a “new” office up and running

Sounds exciting, right?! BUT - These postings often include a request for your banking information, supposedly to help the employer make transactions. What they want is access to your bank account and your money.

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 use the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/us/consumers/),
Hoovers (http://www.hoovers.com/)
and AT&T's Anywho (http://www.anywho.com/)
to verify organizations.

What to do if you discover you’ve been scammed:

If you have encountered a fraudulent job posting, please contact Eagle Career Center at 903.223.1366 so we can remove the employer from the system. If you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, you should contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges. The list of red flags above and the comments and suggestions are not necessarily comprehensive and definitive; they are provided to assist you with your job search and to help you be aware of fraudulent and scam job postings.

  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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