Identifying Fraudulent Employers and Job Scams

Unfortunately, some fraudulent “employers” can be inventive with their scams, and students are encouraged to remain vigilant while using any job posting system. Fraudulent “employers” frequently use systems outside of university systems, so you should be cautious when you are approached by someone via email or through networking sites. Following, please find tools and tips to help you to evaluate the trustworthiness of employers as you conduct your job search. This resource is not all inclusive, and candidates should exercise their best judgement when executing their job search.

How to Identify Fraud
How to Avoid Fraud
How to Respond to Potential Fraud
How to Report Suspected Fraud
How to Learn More about Identifying and Detecting Potential Fraud

How to Identify Fraud

Research the Company

  • Do they provide a working website link?
  • Does the address match the contact information provided on the employer website?
  • Can you find the company by searching the internet for the provided email, phone number, and/or website?
  • Can the company be found on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat) or
  • Search the company name and the word “scam” online and review the results you find.

Analyze the Email

  • Is the email address using the company domain vs a Gmail, Hotmail, yahoo, etc. account?
  • Does the email match the company domain, or is does it contain a spelling error or differ slightly?
  • Are there several grammatical and spelling errors?
  • Does the “reply” address and “from” address match?

Is personal information sought?

  • Have they requested financial information?
  • Have they asked for your personal address, social security number, passwords, mother’s maiden name, etc.?

How to Avoid Fraud


  • You should never be asked for personal information such as banking or credit card information, social security numbers, or similar information during the application process. Provide this information in person if necessary.
  • Never accept cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Including check’s that come with “extra” money.
  • Never agree to purchase anything on behalf of the employer.
  • Never wire transfer or send money prior to, or as a condition of employment.
  • Never respond to a job offer or request for information if you have not applied for a position with the employer.


  • Always question a job offer you might receive without any prior interview with an employer.

REMEMBER: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

How to Respond to Potential Fraud

DO NOT respond to the suspected fraud!

How to Report Suspected Fraud

  • If you are a College of Engineering student on the Ann Arbor campus, contact the ECRC ( or 734-647-7160) immediately if you suspect an employer or job posting could be fraudulent. If you are not a College of Engineering student on the Ann Arbor campus, contact your career services office.
  • If you have already shared person information, be sure to contact your financial institutions to make them aware of potential fraudulent charges. In addition, contact your local police department who is responsible for conducting an investigation regardless of the employer’s location.
  • If the incident occurred completely online, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

How to Learn More about Identifying and Detecting Potential Fraud

The listings available through Engineering Careers, by 12twenty, are provided because of their potential interest to the Michigan Engineering community. Inclusion of a listing does not imply College of Engineering endorsement of the particular external program or opportunity described.