How to Identify a Potential Fraudulent Posting or Employer

It has come to the attention of the Career Center that students and faculty may have fallen for a recent scam employment opportunity.  Upon receiving these types of emails, it is important to do your research before taking any action.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is, especially if it promises a large salary for very little work.

This is a good time to remind everyone to be suspicious of any internship or job that requires you to send a check to deposit in your account.  Never accept a check and send a personal check back to an employer or to someone else.

  • The employer asks you to provide your credit card, bank account numbers, or personal or financial documentation
  • You are offered payment for allowing the use of your bank account (ex., to deposit checks or transfer money)
  • You see the same address listed for multiple companies
  • The position offers pay that is excessively high compared to the average compensation for that position type
  • The position requires a financial investment – particularly payment by wire service or courier
  • The posting focuses more on how much money you can potentially earn and not the responsibilities and expectations
  • You are given a task or a start date via email or phone before interviewing with the company
  • If the company is a legitimate, well-known organization, but the contact uses a personal email account (ex. or instead of the company domain)
  • The posting or employer website includes many spelling and grammatical errors and/or includes broken links to pages; the company doesn’t have a website or the website does not seem to match the advertised job
  • The written position description and the position described in an interview are inconsistent or extremely vague
  • You are asked to provide a photo of yourself
  • The employer contacts you by phone, however, there is no way to call them back or if the number is not available or disconnected
  • The company website is all about the job opportunity and not about the organization itself
  • Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact, company name, etc. use caution. Fraud postings are illegal, so scammers will try to stay anonymous
  • A Google search adds the word ‘scam’ in auto fill to your search on the company name. Read the Google results. Another source for scam reports is

The Career Center encourages students to use Fairfield’s Stags4Hire jobs/internship database, and for part-time posts. While opportunities are reviewed before they are approved for posting, users are responsible for reviewing the opportunities on a case-by-case basis and should use caution and common sense before applying for any opportunity.  

For more information, contact Cathleen Borgman / 203-254-4081 /