Avoiding Job Scams: “Red Flags” and Fraudulent Employers

Red stop sign

Associate Director, Career Strategies and MSF Career Coach, Jennifer Voldins, provides some quick tips for avoiding job scams by recognizing “red flags” and fraudulent employers. Related resources include: Avoiding Job Scams: Staying Safe During the Job Search and What’s a job scam? Hint: It’s not a good thing!

Red flag (idiom)

“The term red flag could mean either a literal flag used for signaling or, as a metaphor, a sign of some particular problem requiring attention.[1]

Avoiding Job Scams: “Red Flags” and Fraudulent Employers

“Every year, usually around this time, there is an increase in employment opportunities which are not legitimate and may actually be fraudulent. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the CSE Resource Avoiding Job Scams: Staying Safe During the Job Search so that you are well-prepared for these “scammers”! Please reach out to the CSE office immediately if something does not seem right, and we will investigate promptly.

Here are some quick tips that you should be aware of:

  • Never give any personal information such as your social security number, bank account number, passport number, etc., until you have a legitimate offer. This information is usually only given once you have accepted an offer and are beginning the on-boarding process.
  • In the US, job seekers do not pay recruiting firms to help place them. This is a red flag. An employer may pay a recruiting firm to help them find talent, but the job seeker should not pay anything.
  • You should always have an interview with a real person either virtually or in person. You may have an initial HireVue round with AI or a “robot”, but after that, expect to speak with a person. If you are told the interview will be via text or Microsoft teams and not an actual person, this is a red flag so please let us know.
  • You should never pay for books/training material out of your own pocket. Another red flag.
  • Typos, misspelled words, email addresses that don’t match to the employer usually indicate the offer is not legitimate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!”

– Jennifer

By Jennifer Voldins
Jennifer Voldins Senior Associate Director, Career Strategies MSF Career Coach