Avoiding Fraudulent Job Postings Online

As with all online job posting sites, such as Indeed and LinkedIn, Handshake has unfortunately experienced a few scammers posting fake positions on their site in order to try to scam applicants out of money.

According to Handshake’s numbers, this is very rare on their platform and even though our office and Handshake both take steps to try to weed out fraudulent postings, a few Georgetown students have reported interactions with fraudulent employers they found on Handshake. If you are interested, you can read more about Handshake’s employer verification process

Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you identify fraudulent job postings while you search for opportunities. 

  • Be extra cautious about remote opportunities. Fraudulent actors in recent years have been exploiting the increase in remote work opportunities. 
  • Research the company. Before you apply for a position with an organization you’ve never heard of, do some research about them. Search for the company website to make sure it exists and looks professional. See if you can find the company on LinkedIn. If you have been contacted by a recruiter, see if you can find them on their company staff page or on LinkedIn to verify that they are who they say they are.
  • Check the email sender’s address and profile. If you are in contact with a recruiter, make sure their email address matches their organization’s domain. If someone claiming to represent a company is emailing you from a gmail account, that is a big red flag.
  • Watch for spelling and grammar. A job posting with a lot of errors is very suspicious and might be a clue that the recruiter is not legitimate.
  • Never pay for anything. If a recruiter tells you that they need you to pay for work materials, training or testing, that is a good sign that the job might be a scam. In fact, one of the techniques scammers have used in the past is to ask an applicant to buy work supplies from a third-party vendor and promise to send you a check to reimburse you. Then the check will bounce, because what they are really after is getting you to send money to the fraudulent supplier site. 

You can find more advice on avoiding fraudulent job postings in this Washington Post article

What to do if you suspect a posting is not legitimate

If you find a suspicious job or internship opportunity on Handshake or if you have any questions about scams, please get in touch with the Cawley Career Education Center at careercenter@georgetown.edu.