Beware of Job Scams!

Scam caution signs

November 16, 2020 - by Yemi Adesina

Recently, many of us students received an email about a job posting originating from a University of Windsor email account about a position that sounded too good to be true. This posting turned out to be a job scam, where someone created a fake job posting and offer in hopes of stealing money or personal information from anyone that responded to it. Keeping that in mind, it is critical that when we as students are looking and applying for jobs, we take precautions to avoid being a victim of any form of job scam. Here are some of the red flags we can look out for in job postings, which could help us identify potential scams:  

  • Non-organizational email: If the contact email in the posting is from a public domain (e.g., or another that does not match the company’s, it could be a sign of a job scam. While there are some exceptions for the domains not to match, an ideal and genuine job posting should have a contact email that is from the company’s domain (e.g. for United Nations). It is good for us to also verify official emails, even when they look like they are from a company’s domain because scammers could create a similar domain to imitate the real domain (e.g. receiving an email from instead of the correct one which is
  • Spelling and grammar errors: Job posting scams tend to have various grammatical and spelling errors, which are indications of the bogus nature of the posting.  This is one of the red flags I noticed in the recent job posting I received by email, despite coming from a verifiable organizational email.
  • No contact information: Job postings without contact information or with suspicious contact information, such as blocked phone numbers, are potential job scams. Therefore, it is good that we always verify contact information on the job posting before applying for jobs. We can verify the contact information by researching the organization’s website and also checking on social platforms such as LinkedIn to verify the contact person works for the organization.
  • Job offer without applying or without an interview: Getting a job without applying nor doing an interview can be another indication of a job scam. To prevent us from falling a victim to such scams, it’s a great idea to keep a log of the jobs that we have applied for and do additional research on the company when such offers are received. 
  • Request for confidential information: Another red flag we should look out for is when job applications require us to send confidential information such as a social insurance number (SIN) or banking information. The request for the confidential information could come in the form of unsolicited texts/emails or be incorporated into online job postings. Giving out such confidential information could lead to identity theft and involvement in various fraudulent activities. In general, a legitimate employer shouldn’t need your SIN or bank information until you’ve actually been hired and have started work.
  • Application fees: No application fee should be paid when applying for jobs. Fraudulent job postings target their victims by asking for fees to carry out checks, such as credit and background checks, without us getting the job.
  • Jobs involving money moving: Any postings with responsibilities that involve transferring money from our personal bank accounts or using our own money for purchasing items for someone else are scams.
  • Offers high incentives: High incentives that are too good to be true is one of the red flags of a possible job scam. An example would be a part-time job with an incentive of $5,000 monthly. Such a red flag was in the job posting I received recently where an incentive of $350 would be given for working 1-2 hours per week, which is ridiculous, especially for part-time student job that doesn't have any required skills or knowledge.

In general, when we are unsure about if a job posting is genuine, we can search the name of the company on Google and use “scam” and “fraud” as keywords with the search. Sometimes, if the job posting is a scam, an online search of the company using these keywords could bring results about experiences people have had with the company in the past.  Also remember that if it is too good to be true, it is probably is.

For more information about common job scams and actions to take if you think you’ve been scammed, take a look at this Keeping Safe from Job Scams tip sheet from CDEL

If you have any concerns about a job posting, or any other questions related to career development, feel free to drop-in to our online virtual advising via Blackboard where you will be able to meet with me or another Career Peer Advisor on Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. You can also book an appointment with a Career Advisor via mySuccess or visit the CDEL website for more information.

Stay safe and well!