How to Avoid Job Scams

Let’s face it, it’s hard to look for a job or an internship. There are so many methods available (e.g., Handshake, LinkedIn, networking, etc.), and postings usually include limited details. It can be hard to decide which positions to apply for and which to avoid.  If an employer or a job sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Be sure to check both the employer and the position carefully for all jobs that you apply to. An employment scam could be a fake job with a fake company or a person pretending to work for a legitimate organization.

Here are a few warning signs that a job is a scam:

  • The employer mails a check to you and asks you to cash it for them.
  • The employer asks for your bank account information, credit card, or personal documents, and you get nothing in writing.
  • You are offered a job without any sort of interview or meeting with the employer.
  • You are offered a large payment or bonus in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account (often for depositing checks, transferring money, or buying money cards).
  • The employer uses a personal email address to communicate with you.

If you are ever confused about a position or you’re not sure of something, then ask the CCD. We are here to help you succeed, and we certainly do not want you to be taken advantage of.


If you receive a suspicious email from an employer, do not respond to the email and contact the CCD immediately.


Every day, we review new employers and positions in Handshake, approving many but not all. To recruit at BU, employers are required to post their jobs on Handshake. While we endeavor to vet carefully both employers and positions, some fraudulent opportunities might get through. And if you’re searching for internships and jobs elsewhere, you might find scams there too. No matter where you look, be careful and watch for those red flags.

If you want more information, check out our Handshake resource on job search safety tips.

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