Fraudulent Job Postings

Beware of lies. Search wise.

The Career Development Center at Mount Holyoke College makes every reasonable effort to screen employers and opportunities on Handshake to prevent fraudulent postings.

However, we cannot guarantee that every employer and job or internship posting is legitimate. Additionally, a good search strategy should include multiple sources beyond LyonNet. Be aware that internet job scams are a growing problem, and it's up to you to stay one step ahead of scammers who want your money or personal info.

How to spot a job scam.

Don't wait until it's too late! If a posting or follow-up communication raises any of the following concerns, proceed with caution and alert the Career Development Center for advice on next steps:

  • requests you to cash a check or money order and you'll get to keep some of the money
  • you receive an email you didn't request encouraging you to make a lot of money quickly or offering you a job--job scams can happen through phishing emails, not just through fraudulent postings on job search websites
  • offers to pay a large amount of money for very little work
  • offers of a position without interviewing/interacting with you
  • requests personal information from you such as your social security number, bank account numbers, credit card information, copies of your passport, license, photograph, or other personal documents
  • requests you to transfer or wire money from one account to another or payments by wire service, money order, or courier
  • offers you a large payment in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account--"use" defined as depositing checks or transferring money
  • requests that you pay upfront--for anything
  • offers to send you a check before you do any work or send you a large check unexpectedly
  • posting lacks all or some of the following information: company name, address, contact information, telephone number, a domain email address, etc.
  • postings with spelling and grammatical errors
  • a website without a clear description of the employer/business, an index, or information on the posting
  • Google the company name and the word "scam"
  • lists descriptive words in job postings that associated with fraud (ex. remuneration, package-forwarding, wiring funds, etc.)

Thoroughly research the employer and the opportunity.

If you suspect a posting is fraudulent, it is extremely important that you proceed with caution. Do not click on any links and do not provide any personal information. Please contact the Career Development Center ( or 413-538-2080) immediately and end all communications with the employer.

If you believe you are the victim of fraud resulting from a posting, please also contact the police.

If the incident occurred completely over the internet, you can file an incident report with the US Department of Justice or by contacting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).