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Students: Recognize and avoid employment scams

July 22, 2013

The frequency and complexity of employment scams are on the rise, and college students wishing to cover more of their educational expenses through work are an ideal target.

For most CSU students, finding a job starts with viewing job postings on RAMweb. Student Employment Services screens each job before posting to RAMweb; however, the possibility still exists that a well-masked employment scam might slip through our screening procedures. Therefore, it is important that students become aware of common characteristics of employment scams.

Common scam characteristics

Employment scams begin with experienced con artists posing as recruiters or employers who offer attractive employment opportunities. They often require job seekers to pay them money in advance, usually under the guise of work-at-home, high salary, no experience required, work on your own, shopping/errand assistant, and special vacation or travel arrangements. Here are some more tips to help you avoid employment scams:

  • Do not pay money up front.
  • Do not accept payment for services you have not provided (i.e., as a "pre-payment" of expected services).
  • Be cautious of people recruiting from out-of-state, or overseas "while on business," or unwilling to meet in person.
  • Be cautious of general email addresses not associated with a legitimate business.
  • Be cautious of people planning to use a 3rd party to pay your earnings (i.e., Lawyer, friend, etc.).
  • Be cautious of emails written with poor grammar, lacking proper verb usage and sentence structure, or with text in all caps or in bold font.
  • Never send money from a deposited check until it officially clears your bank -- Note:  It can take several weeks for a fake check to be discovered.
  • Never provide credit card or bank account numbers, and be cautious of payments by wire service or courier.

Finding legitimate employment

If you are looking for employment and have searched RAMweb periodically throughout each day for at least a week, but still having difficulty finding employment, contact Student Employment Services and we can meet with you and explore employment options. Other strategies to consider:

  • Contact the on-campus department, or off-campus employer you would like to work for and inquire if any openings are available
  • Some CSU departments post jobs on their individual websites.
  • If an employer requires you to have work-study, contact us to see if funds are available and if you are eligible.

Who to contact if you are being scammed

If you suspect a job posting is a scam, contact Student Employment Services. We will review and follow-up with you on the legitimacy of the job posting. If you believe that you are the victim of an employment scam you may file a report with: