Too Good to Be True? Be on the Lookout for Fraudulent Employers

It’s easy to say, “I would never be tricked by a scam employment offer!” But every year, students at universities just like Tufts fall prey to fraudulent employers. And while these kinds of situations are never the victim’s fault, it’s important to be aware of the common ways in which fraudulent employers target college students.

How Common Are Fraudulent Employers? What Should I Do If I Encounter One?

Job listing platforms (e.g., Tufts Handshake, LinkedIn, Indeed, etc.) use a wide range of fraud detection methods to screen out fraudulent employers, including automatic checks, blocking known suspect email domains, and utilizing internal alerts for mismatched domains. Tufts staff members screen employer requests before companies are permitted to recruit Tufts students on Handshake. These measures have helped ensure fraudulent activity is very rare on the platform (0.006% or only 1 in every 18,000 employers).

However, very rarely we do discover companies that have slipped through the cracks and reveal themselves to be scam artists. By this logic, every job or internship search site you use, even reputable ones like Handshake, is at risk for fraudulent postings. When searching through jobs or internships, keep in mind that employers should never ask you for any personal information (e.g. social security number, banking information, etc.) prior to you accepting a job or internship offer.

If you discover that you have engaged with a fraudulent company, you can follow Handshake’s recommended courses of action: What To Do If You’ve Given Your Personal Information To A Fraudulent Employer. (These tips apply to sites beyond Handshake as well!)

To avoid this risk, here are some steps we recommend for reviewing job listings and organizations before submitting an application or sharing any personal information with a recruiter.

Tips for Proactively Screening Employers

  1. Research the organization and the recruiter. Check out the company website to see what you can learn about their culture and their business model. If they have a list of staff members, see if you can find the name of the recruiter listed on the job posting.
  2. Familiarize yourself with common job scams. Forbes has a great article on this topic here and the Federal Trade Commission also gives examples of common scams.
  3. Know that if something feels “too good to be true,” you should be suspicious. “Make $300 in a day from home.”  Large sums of money for minimal work is a common tactic that a scammer will use to lure students in and steal their information. If a job seems “too good to be true,” tell the Tufts Career Center, flag that employer in Handshake, and/or notify the job listing website right away. Learn how to flag an employer in Handshake.
  4. Watch out for organizations that lack professionalism. Is the employer’s email poorly written with typos and grammatical errors? Does it make a vague reference to getting your name from your university or university career center?” It could be a scam. Similarly, be wary of employer contacts who use a generic email address such as or, as opposed to an email address from their organization’s domain. Fraudulent employers may also link to a fake or minimalist website or list a company without an established physical office.
  5. Be wary of an employer who offers you a job before even speaking with you. In addition to application materials, reputable employers normally require an interview before hiring. If you have any questions or concerns about the lack of an interview process (or anything else that strikes you as odd!), please contact the Tufts Career Center.
  6. Never give any money to, or cash a check for, any employer. No reputable employer will require you to pay for anything on your own or cash a check on their behalf before starting your job. If an employer asks you to pay for “training materials” or other equipment or supplies, speak with the Tufts Career Center and do not pay for materials with your own money. Similarly, a common technique of scammers is to ask you to cash a check at a bank, and then return some of that money to the employer while you get to keep some of the cash for yourself. This is a scam. If you receive an email asking you to do anything remotely like this, flag the employer immediately and contact the Tufts Career Center and your city’s Better Business Bureau.

Sample Scam Emails

  • Email 1: Virtual internship offer
    From: Walker, Dylan Gail [dylan.g.walker@*******.***]
    Sent: Mon, Feb 22, 2022 at 5:49 AM
    Subject: Internship and Career Center – TuftsHello, My name is Bill Thomas, MBBS, MBHL, PhD I am the Director of the Division of Education and Development (DED) at The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The World health sector is extremely large and encompasses people employed in just about every profession. Proper healthcare and management is taking care of all stages of health service in the world in terms of effectiveness and Sustainable Development Goals.You have received this email because you have been selected from the University Human Resources Management Office to work with me. As an Assistant, your activities among other things will include;• Paying Bills
    • Sending emails
    • Arranging Speech and Meetings Online.Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.
    ** Weekly Pay: $450.00USD
    ** Hours: 4-8 Hours Weekly $450.00USDI am unable to meet up for an interview because I am currently away and helping the disabled students in New Zealand. You will be paid in advance for all tasks and purchased to be done on my behalf and some of my personal letters and emails will be forwarded to your residence or nearby post office for you to pick up at your convenience. Upon my arrival we will discuss the possibility of making this a long-term employment if I am impressed with your services while I am away. My arrival is scheduled for the first week of May during the Spring semester 2022.I got your email through a short list from the human resources department to give out jobs to few students in your university. If interested in this employment, please send your Full name, Address, Email, Alternate e-mail, Age and Mobile number to my official email: – (zoya.hendrickson@*****.***)Regards
    Bill Thomas, MBBS, MBHL, PhDDirector of the Division of Education and Development (DED) UNESCO, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).
  • Email 2: Paid shopper
    From: Dario Racano [dracano@*******.***] (alt: Avni Shah [avnshah@*******.***]; Alissa Ann Barker [aabarker@*******.***])
    Date: Sun, Aug 23, 2021 at 6:04 PM
    Subject: Attn: Memo from The HRHello,There’s an ongoing survey recruitment exercise for part-time or full-time survey takers. You’re paid to shop and evaluate stores and businesses around you. You get to make up to $300 weekly. You’ll evaluate and comment on customer service rendered. It also doubles as a great 2nd job and does not affect your present employment or studies. I tried it and I made cool cash. For more details and Description views the attached file.Best Regards
    Job Placement And Student Services
    Tufts University
  • Email 3: Pay for training as a “security deposit”

    From: Rohit Roy [rohit.roy@*******************.***]
    Date: Mon, Feb 4, 2022 at 3:50 PM
    Subject: Urgent Openings from Hire Experts Solution

    Hello ,

    Greetings from Hire Experts Solution.

    Hire Experts Solution is a pioneer in IT Staffing specializing in business consulting, project management, technology consulting, technology training and analytics. We count Fortune 500+ companies all over USA among our vast clientele.

    In an industry that is experiencing a rapid growth, Hire Experts Solution is offering its extensive and industry oriented placement program. Our prolific and assiduous teams of experts are striving towards providing you the optimal employment opportunities by collaborating with leading organizations worldwide. For more information, you can refer to our official website www.*******************.***.

    Currently we are hiring candidates (with valid Work Permit) who can fulfill the project requirements of our clients.

    Job Title: – Java Developer

    We are looking for a Java Developer with experience in building high-performing, scalable, enterprise-grade applications.

    You will be part of a talented software team that works on mission-critical applications. Java developer roles and responsibilities include managing Java/Java EE application development while providing expertise in the full software development lifecycle, from concept and design to testing.

    Responsibilities :-

    • Translate application storyboards and use cases into functional applications

    • Design, build, and maintain efficient, reusable, and reliable Java code

    • Ensure the best possible performance, quality, and responsiveness of the applications

    • Identify bottlenecks and bugs, and devise solutions to these problems

    • Help maintain code quality, organization, and automation

    Salary: – $70000- $80000 per year (Full Time)

    $30000- $40000 per year (Part time/Internship)

    (Salary will be negotiable depending on experience & location. Salary will not be constraint for the right & deserving candidate)

    Location: – Open (As per your preference)

    Type of Employment: – Full time / Part time/ Remote work

    Benefits: – As an employee, apart from salary, you are also entitled to get the following benefits during your project:

    • Performance assessment will be done in every six months.
    • Minimum 15% increment will be applicable as per your performance after every six months.
    • Relocation charges will be provided to you during your project.
    • 14 days of yearly paid leave will be provided during your projects.
    • Working with billion dollar projects of fortune 500+ blue chip clients.
    • Health and medical benefits will be provided during projects which include:
    1. Medical, Dental and Vision benefits after 60 days of employment.
    2. Health insurance eligible immediately after 60 days of employment.
    3. Short term and long term disability after 60 days of employment.
    4. 401k retirement pension plan eligible after 6 month of employment.
    5. Life insurance plan after 3 months of employment with us.

    Only for International Students:

    Employer’s Confirmation Letter/Selection Letter/Offer Letter will be provided which you need to submit to your university within 90 days of start of your OPT.
    OPT Extension Letter will be provide to those candidates who are planning for an STEM extension when they are in a project with us.
    H1B Sponsorship will be provided to OPT and CPT candidates only once they join our client’s project.
    On working for certain period of time with us, Green card processing will be done.

    Industrial/Corporate Training (for selected candidates):-

    Hire Experts Solution offers an online skill up gradation program for improving the exposure by experienced mentors from corporate sectors who are associated with our clients and having more that 10 years extensive experience in their relevant fields. The training will make you familiar with the job roles and responsibilities that you have to take on once you are working with our project.

    Upon successful completion of the training, you will receive a Training Completion Certificate from us which will be a Certification based on our Level 5 fortune clients project and will be accepted worldwide.

    Project Engagement:-
    After completion of the Corporate Training, you will be engaged in telephonic interviews with the clients for which you have been trained for and after the successful clearance of any of them, you will be taken on board on a project based on your preferred industry and location.

    Onboard Terms & Conditions:-
    We will charge an upfront fee of $600 for the training purpose only, which will act as security deposit. This fee will be reimbursed to you with your first pay check, when you join client’s project.

    Training Details:

    Course Duration: – 5-6 weeks.
    Class duration: – 1 – 2 hours.
    Mode of training: Online Live Audio Video.
    Platform: – Cisco WebEx.
    Training Materials: – will be provided by us for practical references.

    Additional benefits:

    Timing: Weekdays and Weekends as per the trainer’s availability.
    Access to the Training Blog & Repository of Materials.
    Assignment after each module for self-assessment.
    Brief notes explaining each example covered.
    Training video recordings of every session.

    If you are interested or planning to make a career change then send me your feedback at the earliest by either calling me at 985-617-**** between 10:00 AM CST to 6:00 PM CST, Monday to Friday or email me to get a quick response. Please attach your updated resume also so that we can start the proceedings immediately.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Rohit Roy

    Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Hire Experts Solution

    PH: 985-617-**** / Email: rohit.roy@*******************.***

  • Email 4: Work from home, part-time administrative assistant
    From: Diane M Barrett [dmbarrett@*******.***]
    Sent: Monday, December 21, 2021 1:56 PM
    Subject: Job Opening!An administrative assistant to perform various administrative tasks like making or receiving payment, keeping record and processing paperwork when necessary with a good weekly pay is needed, Please find the position and some basic information below.Duties:
    > Handling and monitoring some of my financial activities.
    > Creating orders/pick slips/invoices/credit memos.
    > Running personal errands.
    > Making Purchases, receiving and making payment
    > Perform official assignment to detail/ instruction.This position will be home-based and flexible part time job, You can be working from home, School or any locationApply by sending a copy of your resume to drstacydean@*****.***
    Then use (Resume sent) as a confirmatory text to (415) 548-**** for notificationBest Regards,

Ways to Safeguard Your Personal Information

  1. Never click a link in an email from someone you do not know. It could be a virus or other malicious software.
  2. Change your passwords and turn on two-factor authentication whenever possible. In addition to using strong passwords (and different passwords for different accounts!), turn on two-factor authentication to add another layer of security.
  3. Monitor your existing accounts. Most fraud occurs on existing accounts. Monitor all bank accounts, credit cards, and online shopping accounts for unusual activity so you can report any fraudulent charges immediately. Most banks and credit cards allow you to turn on notifications so that you’ll be alerted by text, email, or phone right away.
  4. Check your credit report regularly. Whether you think you’ve been scammed or not, it’s a good idea to check your credit report. You can do so for free once a year through

Additional Resources

If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of an employer or an employer request, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Tufts Career Center with your questions.