Avoid Job Scams




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Avoid Job Scams



  • Career & Leadership Development provides off-campus job and internship listing information and related services via Handshake. We do not endorse the employers who list job openings or guarantee the accuracy of the information therein. Those who use the job listings do so at their own risk. Career & Leadership Development, its staff, the California State University System and the State of California assume no liabilities related to the accuracy or inaccuracy of information provided in job listings and do not represent or act on behalf of the hiring authority.
  • Students should be aware of potential job posting scams. Any off-campus position is outside of SF State jurisdiction and as such the University assumes no liability or obligation in verifying validity of postings. Please use extreme caution in applying for off-campus positions. Students should NEVER pay for employment opportunities. If any employer asks for money, wishes to engage in wire transfers, or discusses advance payment for work that has not been performed, please discontinue all correspondence with that employer and contact your local police department. Some local police departments have websites to report fraud. 
  • Career & Leadership Development does its best to screen job postings. However, we make no recommendations or guarantees about the positions and employers listed through our office. Due to the volume of jobs received, we are unable to research the integrity of every position listed. Therefore, students are urged to take on this responsibility themselves. We encourage you to use common sense and caution when applying for positions, especially when applying for positions off campus. If a potential employer asks you to participate in an activity that makes you uncomfortable in any way, don't do it. You may also wish to check with other services that rate businesses, for example, the local Better Business Bureau.

How to Avoid Scams:

Check their website and call the number listed on the job posting. Scammers will often use a legitimate business as a cover, so don't be afraid to contact the business and inquire about the posting.

Be sure to choose a public place for your meeting, tell someone where you are going and bring your cell phone with you just in case.

To protect yourself from scammers: 


  • Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders: bank will cash these fakes and then hold you responsible.
  • Never give out financial information (bank account, social security, PayPal account, etc).
  • Refuse background/credit checks until you have met employer in person.
  • Never apply for a job with someone who indicates they are away on business or are out of the country and needs you to begin right away. Resist pressure to do something right away.
  • Be skeptical. If a job offers a lot of money for very little work, it is likely a scam. If a job seems too good to be true, it probably is.


Personal Safety :

When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to :

  • Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.
  • Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
  • Tell a friend or family member where you're going.
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one.
  • Consider having a friend accompany you.
  • Trust your instincts.


What To Do If You Find a Fraudulent Job Posting or Believe You've Been Scammed :

If you have encountered a fraudulent posting, company or organization on Handshake, please email career@sfsu.edu, so the posting can be investigated and appropriate action can be taken.

Consult with Career & Leadership Development (CLD) immediately if you have been scammed to determine whether you should contact the University Police Department or the local police. The police are responsible for conducting an investigation regardless of whether the scam artist is local or in another state.

If you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, you should contact your bank and/or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges.

If the incident occurred completely over the internet, you should file an incident report with The United States Department of Justice and The Federal Trade Commission.

To learn more about employment scams, your rights, and appropriate actions, please visit this helpful page from the Riley Guide

All job listings are posted at the discretion of CLD. We will not approve jobs that appear to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. CLD also reserves the right to refuse to post jobs that do not support the interests of the University.