Job Scams

The Career Services Network has noticed a marked increase in students being contacted by fraudulent individuals and employers offering a variety of  “employment” opportunities. Students have reported being contacted via email, LinkedIn, or our Career Management System.

The hallmark of many of these job scams is to ask a student to deposit checks to their personal accounts, purchase items, or send personal checks with their own money to the employer. They may also attempt to collect sensitive personal information that could be used for future identity theft.

If you believe you have been contacted by a job scam via your MSU email account, please contact MSU IT immediately.

In general, we encourage you to protect yourself by: 

  • Never providing any personal information by email to an employer
  • Using a strong password for your online accounts
  • Changing passwords frequently for accounts with access to confidential data
  • Never sharing passwords with others
  • Completing a quick internet search on a position that seems “off”; Googling the website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, and even sentences from the emails can often uncover details about scams already posted online.
  • Consulting the Career Services Network if you have questions about any job posting that seems “fishy” or too good to be true.

No legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back. DO NOT provide any personal information especially social security numbers or financial information.

Be cautious if an email or job posting:

  • Does not list a company name
  • Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name (most legitimate companies will use the company domain instead of a Hotmail, yahoo, or Gmail account)
  • Offers to pay a large amount of money for almost no work
  • Offers you a job without ever interacting with you or interviewing you
  • Asks you to pay an application fee or to pay for training
  • Wants you to transfer money from one account to another
  • Offers to send you a check before you do any work
  • Asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers
  • Asks for copies of personal documents
  • Says you must send payment by wire service or courier
  • Offers you a large payment for allowing the use of your bank account – often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • Sends you an unexpectedly large check
  • Posts one position but then attempts to offer you a different (often unattractive) position during the interview process

If you are concerned about a job opportunity being a potential scam, you may also reach out to Career Services at prior to applying; we are happy to investigate positions on your behalf.

By Karin Hanson
Karin Hanson Director, Employer Relations and Communications - Career Services Network