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These are real examples of phishing emails that have been received by CSULB students regarding scam employment opportunities. To see a current list of reported phishing attempts on campus, see the Known Phishing Reports page.  To report a suspicious email, please forward it to alert@csulb.edu. 

How to Recognize and Avoid Employment Scams

CSULB Students are often targeted by fake job scams via email.  Some job scams are easy to spot while others appear legitimate.  How do you know who to trust?  Start with the following guidelines to avoid a potential scam.

NEVER:

  • Apply to a job that was emailed or texted to you unexpectedly. Many scams use compromised student email accounts (e.g. John.Doe@student.csulb.edu) to solicit job opportunities. The University will never use a @student.csulb.edu address to send out job information.
  • Complete webforms unless you’re certain of the forms authenticity. Many scammers use free web form platforms to create fake job sites to collect your data.
  • Give out your personal information like social security number, bank account or credit card information, or send a copy of your driver’s license or ID card via email, text, or over the phone to an unknown person or company.  Scammers may claim that they need your personal information for employment pre-screening.  Do not fall for the lie.
  • Pay for a service before you get a job.  Do not fall for a promise of a job after you pay a small fee.
  • Accept cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment for the promised job.
  • Cash a check that comes with “extra” money.  Scammers send checks that require you to deposit a check at your bank, withdraw the “extra” money as cash, and then deposit that cash elsewhere. The check will bounce and you will be held accountable.
  • Buy gift cards and send bar codes at an "employer's" request. 
  • Agree to a background check unless you have interviewed or met with the employer in person, and have been offered a job.

ALWAYS:

  • Be very wary of emails from someone you don't know, regardless of the logos and names visible in the email message, claiming to be recruiters, job board, or employers.
  • Be cautious of jobs and recruiters you find on social media.  Fake jobs may be posted on legitimate Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
  • Scammers may impersonate as recruiters from Career Centers, instructors, advisors, deans, or other members of the University.  Always verify the job opening or posting with a reliable source such as the University’s Career Development Center.  As a general rule, students are hired through official channels like a department @csulb.edu email address, or an application on the CSULB Career Development Center's website or CareerLINK, CSULB's portal to career services, jobs, and internships via Single Sign-On.
  • Beware of fake jobs on legitimate well-known job boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, or other recruiting agencies.  While the job board may be legitimate, the job may be a scam.
  • Be skeptical.  If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, that is just not common in the real job market.  If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
  • Research the employer.  Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page?
  • If you are in doubt about the authenticity of the employer, contact the University’s Career Development Center and you can forward the unsolicited email to alert@csulb.edu.
  • Access CareerLINK via Single Sign-On to find job opportunities that have been reviewed by the Career Development Center.

Example 1

There are three clues in the following example that hint at this email not being valid:

  1. The sender's address is a CSULB student email address (First.Last@student.csulb.edu).
  2. The scammer requests you email a 3rd party email address to begin the employment process.
  3. The email was unsolicited, and not a result of you seeking employment through the Career Development Center or other authorized sources.

Figure 1: Example of a job scam with three clues of phishing.

Examples 2 and 3

Another four clues showing a questionable email source, in these examples:

  1. The sender's address is a CSULB student email address (First.Last@student.csulb.edu).
  2. The email has a link that takes you to a 3rd party webform that has no affiliation with the University.
  3. The email attempts to mimic a legitimate department on-campus, but the email is not sent from that department.
  4. The email was unsolicited, and not a result of you seeking employment through the Career Development Center or other authorized sources.

Figure 2: Example job scam with four clues of phishing

Figure 3: Example job scam with four clues of phishing


Return to Phishing 101 or Known Phishing Reports.

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