Fraudulent Job Postings

Job Scams

Fake job postings are everywhere. They appear via unsolicited emails sent to your student account and on online job-listing sites. Although the NDSU Career and Advising Center makes every attempt to catch these fraudulent postings, we advise students to avoid being caught up in a scam by heeding this advice:

Beware if the email or job posting:

• Does not indicate the company name
• Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name
• Offers to pay a large amount for almost no work
• Offers you a job without ever interacting with you
• Asks you to pay an application fee
• 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

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! 

A typical scammer will only communicate via email and always have excuses as to why they cannot meet in person. DO NOT fall for it. If a job looks to good to be true in terms of pay and work expected it most likely is. These scammers are very sophisticated and share personal information and then expect the same from the student.

Watch out for over payment scams

Often posted as a book-keeper, personal assistant, administrative assistant, general clerk, etc, to assist in processing checks or mystery/secret shoppers, the “company” sends a check to the “assistant” (student), who is then responsible for taking their salary out of the check and wiring the remainder of the money back to the “company. These checks are fraudulent and can leave you out thousands of dollars and facing criminal charges. A popular variation on the check cashing scam is the Car Wrap Advertising scam.

Watch out for Email Phishing scams

Online scammers are becoming much more sophisticated in their attempts to lure victims, especially using email links to false websites. It is increasingly difficult to tell the difference between legitimate and counterfeit online sites. There has been a recent uptick in phishing attacks at institutions across the country.

Individuals who believe they have information pertaining to false internet/email employment schemes are encouraged to file a complaint at

Adapted from information from the Internet Crime Complaint Center and Michigan State University.

Common Job Scams Targeting College Students

  • Personal assistants
  • Issuing checks/check processing from home
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • A variety of scams where a student is asked to pay for certification, training materials or equipment with promise of reimbursement
  • A variety of scams where a student is asked to pay a fee

Questionable Jobs to Approach with Caution

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Envelope stuffing from home
  • Repacking or shipping from home
  • Pet sitting
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Clerical work from home jobs where you need to deposit large checks

 If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a job or internship posting, please contact the NDSU Career and Advising Center immediately at (701) 231-7111 or by email at