Too good to be true?  It just might be…

As a student, you will receive many advertisements from employers, enticing you to apply for a position.  As you are conducting your job and internship search it is very important to first educate yourself about potential job scams.  These may be via email, posters, flyers, even phone calls.  (The majority are email)  Be very cautious if you decide to reply to such advertisements.

We have information below to educate and help you, but above ALL else, if you have a question at any time, contact us immediately.


1. DO YOU KNOW THE SENDER? - If an employer you do not know, or did not previously contact sends you an email, that email is highly suspect and you should delete or proceed with caution.  Some employers will even state that they are replying to an email you sent them (which is a lie) in an attempt to get you to reply, providing information.  Do not reply and report this activity to our office.

2. LITTLE EFFORT, HIGH REWARD$ - Often, fraudulent positions offer high rewards and a quick turn-around for little initial effort.  Be cautious of these advertisements.  You may be offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account (often for depositing checks or transferring money).  Avoid these situations.

3. YOUR BGSU EMAIL - BGSU will never sell or supply your email address without your permission.  If an employer claims they did receive your email from a BGSU representative, confirm that fact with our office or a BGSU employee.

4. EMAIL EXTENSION - If the employer’s email address is not representative of their company (or few details about the company are provided), the message is suspicious.  The majority of legitimate company representatives would not use an email address different from their own company web address extension.  For example:

  • Jane Smith from Peach Tree Accounting sends you an email about a potential job.
  • Her email would appear as or something similar.
  • Her email, if legitimate, would not be “” or “”.
  • IMPORTANT: Even if the email does appear legitimate, some criminals go to great lengths to disguise their scams, so always proceed with caution or contact our office to verify legitimacy.

5. JOB SEARCH SITES - Some employer-imposters pose as legitimate employers using job search sites (monster, indeed, etc.) to take advantage of unsuspecting students or alumni. Many jobsites do allow for legitimate communication to take place between an employer and applicant, so this is not unusual. However, remain cautious and always verify information if you have any doubts.

6. PAY TO WORK - Any position offered where you must pay any “initial startup” fees (or similar), membership, or privilege/application fees should be avoided.  Also avoid those asking for your credit card, checking or other bank account information.

7. WORK FROM HOME - Legitimate opportunities to work from home do exist, but be careful when inquiring.  Many use catchy phrases like “make $200 a day” or similar statements.  Avoid these “employers”.

8. HIRED WITH NO INTERVIEW - You merely supplied your contact information and they “hired” you.  This is not common for any employer that works with our office to hire students.

9. NO CONTACT/PERSONAL INFO. - If you are asked to provide your contact/personal information (even sometimes a photo) in the 1st email you receive, do not reply.  The sender is merely hoping to acquire your data and possibly steal your identity.

10. YOU RECEIVE A CHECK IN THE MAIL - DO NOT process the check.  This is an attempt to steal your bank account/personal information.  Employers may ask you to do this as part of an application process or test to get hired.  Do not reply to the employer and notify our office immediately.


Below is a list of resources for reporting and learning more about employment scams and fraudulent employers.

  1. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
    File a complaint with IC3 or review Internet crime prevention tips.
  2. U.S. Department of Justice: Cybercrime
    CCIPS prevents, investigates, and prosecutes computer crimes by working with other government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, and foreign counterparts.
  3. Federal Trade Commission
    Learn about employment scams or file a complaint.
  4. Better Business Bureau
    Research employers by reviewing reports, complaints, and accreditation status.



1. Contact the local police and/or our office immediately.  We can assist you and the police may conduct an investigation (regardless of whether the scam artist is local or in another state).

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