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Avoiding Job Scams

The UGA Career Center’s online system, DAWGlink, allows employers to connect with UGA students and alumni.  While we screen employers and the positions they post, it is very important that you as a job seeker exercise common sense and caution when applying for jobs.

How To Identify A Scam Job Posting:

  • You must provide your credit card, bank account numbers, or other personal financial documentation. Some examples include:
    • 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).
    • You receive an unexpectedly large check (checks are generally sent or deposited on Fridays).
    • The employer will sometimes tell you that they do not have an office set-up in your area, and will need you to help them get it up and running.
  • The posting appears to be from a reputable, familiar company (often a Fortune 500). Yet, the domain in the contact's email address does not match the domain used by representatives of the company (this is typically easy to determine from the company's website).
  • The posting neglects to mention the responsibilities of the job.  Instead, the description focuses on the amount of money to be made.
  • The employer responds to you immediately after you submit your resume. Typically, resumes sent to an employer are reviewed by multiple individuals, or not viewed until the posting has closed.
  • Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact, company name, etc. - this is cause to proceed with caution. Fraud postings are illegal, so scammers will try to keep themselves well-hidden.
  • The posting includes many spelling and grammatical errors.
  • You are asked to provide a photo of yourself.

If A Job Seems Too Good To Be True:

If you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or something just doesn't seem right, research the employer to gather more information.

  • Look at the company’s website.  Scammers often create quick, basic web pages that seem legit at first glance.  Check to see if the open position is posted on the company's website.
  • When you Google the company name and the word "scam" (i.e. Acme Company Scam), the results show several scam reports concerning this company. Another source for scam reports is: http://www.ripoffreport.com.
  • 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. Consider using 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.

If You Identify A Potential Scam:

  • Please notify the Career Center immediately by calling 706-542-3375.
  • End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts over the next few days, to be on the safe side.

If You Have Become A Victim Of A Scam:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided the following instructions for students who have responded to fraudulent postings:

  • The student 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 it is a situation where the student has sent money to a fraud employer, the student should contact their bank or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges.
  • If the incident occurred completely over the Internet, the student should file an incident report with the United States Department of Justice at http://www.cybercrime.gov/, or by calling the FTC at: 1 (877) FTC-HELP or 1 (877)  382-4357.

For more information, please visit the FTC website to view a video on job scams at http://ftc.gov/jobscams