Avoid Job Scams

Scammers advertise jobs the same way legitimate employers do — online (in ads, job sites, and social media), in newspapers, and sometimes on TV and radio. They promise you a job, but they want your money and personal information.” Federal Trade Commission

Keep in mind that scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, so it’s important to be vigilant. Here are some common red flags to look for:

Common Scams/Crimes

  • Employment
  • Identity
  • Telephone
  • Government Grants
  • Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams
  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Banking/Checking
  • Investment
  • Charity
  • Ponzi

How To Avoid

Pay Attention

While the Career Center tries to screen employers and the positions posted to CState CareerLink, it is imperative that you, as a job seeker, exercise common sense and caution. Read position descriptions carefully!

Know the Warning Signs

  1. Too Good to Be True Offers: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of job offers, products, or services that promise unusually high pay or benefits for minimal effort.
  2. Urgent Requests for Personal Information: Scammers often ask for personal information like Social Security numbers, bank account details, or passwords. Legitimate organizations rarely ask for sensitive information upfront.
  3. Unprofessional Communication: Poor grammar, misspellings, and overly casual language can be indicators of a scam. Legitimate businesses and organizations usually maintain a professional tone in their communications.
  4. Unrealistic Job Requirements: Job listings with vague job descriptions, minimal requirements, and promises of instant high pay are often designed to lure in unsuspecting job seekers.
  5. Requests for Upfront Payment: Be wary of ads that ask for upfront payments or deposits before you can access a service or product. Legitimate sellers and service providers typically collect payment upon delivery.
  6. Suspicious Payment Methods: Scammers often prefer unconventional payment methods like wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or prepaid gift cards. These methods are difficult to trace and offer little recourse for recovering funds.
  7. Lack of Verifiable Information: If the posting lacks contact information, a physical address, or a website, it’s a red flag. Legitimate businesses and individuals usually provide ways to get in touch and verify their credibility.
  8. Mismatched Contact Information: Cross-reference the provided contact information with official company details. If the email address or phone number doesn’t match the company’s official contact information, it’s likely a scam.
  9. Pressure to Act Quickly: Scammers often create a sense of urgency, pressuring you to act immediately without giving you time to think or research. Take your time to evaluate offers.
  10. Unusual Requests for Information or Actions: Be cautious if you’re asked to download unfamiliar software, click on suspicious links, or perform actions that seem unnecessary for a legitimate transaction.
  11. Unsolicited Job Offers: If you receive a job offer without applying or interviewing, it could be a scam. Research the company and verify the offer before taking any action.
  12. Inconsistent Branding: Check for inconsistencies in logos, branding, and language used in the posting compared to the official website of the company or organization.
  13. Lack of Online Presence: Scammers often create fake profiles or websites. Search for the company’s online presence to verify their legitimacy.
  14. Too Much or Too Little Information: Be cautious if a posting provides an excessive amount of personal information or is excessively vague. Scammers often use both tactics to manipulate victims.

Do Your Research – Google

If you have never heard of a website before, and you are suspicious of it being a scam, Google the URL with the word “scam” next to it and research the company. You can usually find previous victims or complaints related to that scam.

Report It

  • IF YOU ENCOUNTER SUSPICIOUS POSTINGS IN CState CareerLink, report your experience to the Career Center at careercenter@cincinnatistate.edu or 513- 569-4242.
  • IF YOU ENCOUNTER SUSPICIOUS POSTINGS IN your Cincinnati State email, report this to our Technology Helpdesk.
    • Please report suspected phishing attempts via the tools available in Outlook. Networking will be notified and determine if the email is phishing.

      If the email appears to be from a co-worker or someone you know, the quickest way to determine if the email is legitimate is to call them and ask. 

    • If you are using the web version of Outlook (Surgemail), you can quickly notify us of a phishing attempt by clicking this icon at the top of the offending email.

      The icon is on the right hand side with the icons for reply, reply all, and forward. It is an open envelope with a small red fish hook. If you hover over the icon, the text will read, “Phish Alert – Phish Alert Report”.

      Depending on your outlook client, you might need to click on the 3 horizontal dots on the right side to access the Phish Alert Utility.

      More information about how to deal with phishing attempts can be found at this link: https://web2.cincinnatistate.edu/files/its/infosec/Phishing.pdf




Remember, always trust your instincts. If something feels off, it’s better to be cautious and investigate further before proceeding. When in doubt, research the company, ask for references, and seek advice from trusted sources.


While Cincinnati State’s Career Center reviews each company profile and job posting on CState CareerLink, it makes no endorsements, representatations, or guarantees about the positions listed on the website and is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, other aspects of employment, or for whether the students/alumni have the requisite training and work experience to qualify for a position.

The Career Center does not allow employers to mass email students regarding job opportunities or hiring events. All coorespondance regarding employment opportunities is sent via Career Center staff members who will be identified via our Cincinnati State email address and also our professional email signature identifying us.

It is the responsibility of the student/alumnus to obtain all of the necessary information concerning the employer and the position and to take all necessary precautions when interviewing for, or accepting positions with any employer.