Fake Job Scams

Learn how to recognize and avoid common online scams designed to steal money or your identity.

A pile of money has marks of forfeiture.

On this page:

Warning Signs

  • A job offer from an unexpected source.
  • The email address is not from the company or is misspelled​. Note that an email address that is from the company is not necessarily proof of the message's authenticity, since email addresses can easily be forged or "spoofed" by scammers.
  • The company name is unknown.
  • The job requires you to handle money.
  • You are asked to place orders.
  • Someone asks you to print checks and overnight the checks.
  • You are depositing checks.
  • You are asked to reship items.
  • You are transferring money to other accounts
  • You are asked to purchase gift cards
  • You are asked to convert cash into bitcoin
  • You are using your bank account or opening up new accounts
  • It seems too good to be true.  A good question to ask yourself is: Why would someone pay me this much to do something they could do themselves?
  • Scammers may impersonate someone at UB, like a professor or supervisor. Exercise caution whenever you receive an unexpected job offer from someone at UB. Most jobs at UB are posted officially through UB Jobs or Bullseye powered by Handshake.

What Can You Do?

  • Verify the offer by contacting the company or sender directly
  • Look up the company on the Internet, do not use the number or address in the email
  • If the offer is from someone at UB, look up that person in the UB Directory and inquire about the job by sending them a new message (don't reply to the original message)
  • Look for a Human Resources contact and call them to ask if this is a legitimate employment offer*

* You may be able to turn this into a positive. Tell them that you researched the company and are interested in working for them. Ask the HR person how you can apply for a position.

If You Think You’re a Victim

If you think you fell for a scam, protect yourself by stopping any further communication.

  1. Change any passwords on accounts that were involved in the scam
  2. Contact any financial institutions involved
  3. Make a report to your local law enforcement.  If you are a member of the University at Buffalo, please contact University Police
  4. File a complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The criminal may threaten you or use your identity for another scam. 

Additional Resources for Information

Still need help?

Contact the UBIT Help Center.