Fraudulent Job Awareness

As you search for internships and jobs, you may come across a posting that seems too good to be true - lucrative salary, flexible location/schedule, transferring money, purchasing gift cards online, vague / low level of responsibilities – we want to make sure candidates know how to identify these fraudulent posts and provide tips for avoiding them altogether. 

These red flags are a common theme among fraudulent job listings: 

  • You received a random, unsolicited email 
  • The sender asks for personal information such as age, address, phone number, banking information  
  • The job only says that they need help, but there are no specific tasks or duties articulated 
  • The poster will only communicate through electronic means, and will not speak on the phone or offer an in-person or video meeting 
  • The employer does not use a company email address, but communicates using a personal account and typically with poor grammar or spelling without professional etiquette 
  • They are sending you money without meeting in-person, or they are asking for some sort of fee to apply for the job 
  • They do not ask you to sign any formal paperwork 
  • They require that you purchase materials, software, equipment, etc. to begin your role 
  • The employer indicates that they need a “virtual assistant” 
  • The salary for the position is much higher than you might anticipate – for example, if they are advertising a high hourly salary to work “whenever you want” 

      In the event you are contacted with an “opportunity” that features any combination of the elements listed above: 

      • Do not respond or engage with them in any manner 
      • Do not click any links present in emails 
      • Do not deposit any random checks that you receive in the mail without potential verification. Bring your suspicious checks to the bank to deposit, bank tellers are trained to identify fake checks 
      • Report potential fraudulent emails to and notify the Career Connections Center at to assist 
      • If you have already lost money, file a police report with the University Police Department or the law enforcement agency where you are located 

        There are steps you can take to research a company and/or recruiter to confirm the legitimacy of any opportunities presented to you: 

        • Look at their organization’s website and other job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed to see if the job they offered you is listed there 
        • Visit their LinkedIn profiles to confirm that the person contacting you is an actual employee of the organization they are representing 
        • Contact their human resources department to verify that they are reaching out to candidates to make hires without fielding applications 
        • If it looks like outreach from a university department, look on the University of Florida jobs portal 
        • If the position is not listed and someone with an “” email reaches out advertising a position, look them up on the UF Directory and search the department for their name and call the department to determine if the person works there and is looking for an assistant 
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