Job Scams

Career Services monitors and screens jobs listed on MustangJOBS. We work very hard to stop scammers and block most of them, but a few scammers have very deceptive methods. Please use caution when responding to job listings. If you suspect that a job listed on MustangJOBS is a scam please report it to mustangjobs-abuse@calpoly.edu.

Below are seven red flags the Better Business Bureau advises job hunters to be on the look out for when using online resources. 

 

Red Flags   Red Flags

Grammatical and Spelling Errors

  • Most online fraud is perpetrated by scammers located outside the U.S.
  • It is often evident in their poor grasp of the language which can include poor grammar and the misspelling of common words.

Claims a Problem with Account

  • After creating a user account on sites like Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com, a job hunter might receive an e-mail saying there has been a problem with their account or they need to follow a hyperlink to install new software.
  • Phishing e-mails like this are designed to convince readers to click a link within the message to fix the issue, but actually take them to a web site that will install malware or viruses on their computer.

Asks for Personal Information

  • An employer may ask for extensive personal information such as social security or bank account numbers.
  • Regardless of the reason or excuse given by the employer, a job applicant should never give out his or her Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or e-mail.

Offers Opportunity to Become Rich Without Leaving Home

  • While there are legitimate businesses that allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and injured or disabled people looking to make money at home.
  • Job hunters should use extreme caution when considering a work-at-home offer and always research the company with their BBB first at www.bbb.org.

Asks for Money Upfront

  • Aside from paying for a uniform, it is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job.
  • Most recently, the BBB of Metropolitan Dallas uncovered a scam where job hunters were told they had to pay $64.50 for a background check before they could be considered for a cleaning job. Predictably, after paying for the background check, the job seeker never heard from the company again.

Offers Salary or Benefits that Seem Too-Good-To-Be-True

  • The adage holds true for job offers: if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little experience in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam.

Requires Employee to Wire Money Through Western Union or MoneyGram

  • Many phony jobs require the prospective employee to cash a check sent by the company through the mail and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity.
  • Whatever the reason they ask, the check might clear the employee’s bank account but will eventually turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers.

Additional Red Flags To Be Aware Of

  • The job posting has a vague or generic job title such as Clerical Assistant or Customer Service Representative.
  • There is no specific location listed. Be suspicious if it is advertised as a local part-time position, but lists the location as “nationwide.”
  • There is no contact information or web address listed in the job posting. If it is a legitimate job it should give valid contact information.

Common Job Scams   Common Job Scams

Example: Accounting / Administrative Assistant

Fast Growing, exciting company needs basic accounting and administrative assistant duties such as support of A/R, document filling, arranging shipping and answering phone call and providing customer service etc. The position will require growing and developing a "roll up your sleeves" attitude, with the ability handling invoicing and shipping functions.

Responsibilities:
Day to day responsibility for A/R and collections
Post customer payments 
Follow up payment of past due invoices with customers
Answers phones and respond to customer needs.

Requirements:
MUST be proficient in English (verbal and written)
Strong background in accounts is preferable Knowledge of Peachtree would be preferable.
Quick learner and multi task worker.
Very strong Excel skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office applications
Well organized, strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills
Effective problem solving skills
Hands on mentality; independent and pro-active

The company this fraudulent posting was disguised under was Cisco Systems, Inc. and the posting listed the following invalid email address: info@ciscosystemincs.com.

What Do I Do If I Am Already Involved In A Scam?   What do I do if I am already involved in a scam?

You should immediately contact the local police. The police are responsible for conducting an investigation (regardless of whether the scam artist is local or in another state). If you are a current student, you may file a report with the Univeristy Police Department by calling them at (805) 756-2281.

If it is a situation where you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, you should contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges. If the incident occurred completely over the Internet, you should file an incident report with the FTC or call the FTC at: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

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