Fill in and save this PDF worksheet to help you compare and research companies.
Researching organizations will help you learn more about your chosen career path while clarifying your immediate career goals. This step is especially critical when you are preparing for an interview.
Advance knowledge about the organization you are interviewing with can be used to effectively convey your interest in the company, while giving you an edge in the interviewing process.
How to Spot Fraudulent Employers and Postings
The University of Iowa Pomerantz Career Center makes every effort to check the legitimacy of opportunities being connected to the University of Iowa through Handshake. However, due to the high volume of postings we receive, we are unable to fully research each person, organization and posting.
The Pomerantz Career Center makes no guarantee about positions listed and are not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or other aspects of employment. It is the responsibility of each individual job seeker to research the validity of the organization(s) to which he/she is applying and verify the specific information for each posting. Job seekers should exercise due diligence and use common sense and caution when applying for or accepting any position.
For your privacy and protection when applying to an opportunity online, it is advisable that you do not provide your social security number or credit card or bank account information, or perform any sort of monetary transaction for an employer.
Many times, employers reach out through the university directory and not through Handshake. While they may say they have gotten your information through the career services, 95% of the time, this is not true. They are just phishing for information.
You are asked to give out any personal financial information
You are asked to send a payment by wire service or courier or are asked to transfer money or you receive an unexpectedly large check or are offered a large payment or reward for depositing a check or transferring money
You receive an email from someone that says they received your application when you haven’t sent one. Or an email that says they received your information from the Career Center. While some employers may legitimately contact you through the Career Center, the email would be more detailed. If you receive a very general email that says they found your resume through the Career Center, please check with the Pomerantz Career Center before responding to the employer.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There is weird language or phrasing in the job posting. Be aware if there are a lot of grammatical errors.
The employer uses a personal account like gmail, live or yahoo or there is very little to no contact information for contacting them. Legitimate employers will always provide a valid phone number, email address or website.
The posting appears to be from a legitimate company, but when you look closely, the email address is just slightly different – example - @bankofamerica.com may read bankofamerca.com. It is best to check the company’s website to verify postings.
The job requirements are overly easy or there aren’t any. Many of these types of scams are recruiting for an Administrative Assistant, Personal Assistant (someone to run errands) or Office Assistant type position. Be wary of postings for Mystery Shoppers, work at home or virtual assistant positions.
You get offered a job without interviewing
The company has a generic name such as Finance or Insurance Company. Conduct a google search to see if the organization is listed. When you google the organization name and the word “scam”, the results may show several scam reports regarding the company.
Check spam-checker.com to see if the job description is listed as one of their reported scams.
Below are samples of communication between fraudulent organizations and applicants:
Note that most involved wanting the applicant to cash/forward money orders/checks:
“By doing 3 transactions you're sure to earn nothing less than $500 per week. You can decide when you want to work as what you'll be doing initially is cashing the payments and completing the transaction to the supplier.”
"You are to shop at XXXXX and give a report on customer service, quality of product, and cleanliness of the establishment. I hope there is a XXXXX store in your area. Money will be provided for you to shop. Here are the next steps: 1. You will also ascertain the ease of sending the balance to the next survey agent from XXXX. 2.. You will also be paid a commission of $300 for each assignment. 3 We are going to send you a check or money order for the assignments... 4. You are not to use any money from your own pocket. 5. I need you to Confirm the following information below,” (then confirms, name, address, phone, etc.)
“The process is as follows; you receive the payment directly from the individual buyer, in your mail, usually via UPS and have them cashed. You then send the payment to our vendors when I need you to, or directly to the company and your pay is 10% of the dollar amount sent to you.”