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Fraudulent Job Postings

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Be advised that Columbia University and the Center for Career Education do not make any representations or warranties about the parties that utilize LionSHARE or the accuracy of the information provided by the parties. 

Columbia University and the Center for Career Education shall not be responsible for any damage or loss of any kind arising out of or related to your use of LionSHARE and/or the information contained therein.

While there is nominal screening of postings, it is the responsibility of each user to do his or her due diligence before interviewing with or accepting an offer from any company posting a job listing on LionSHARE.

Warning Signs

As you conduct your research and job/internship search, it is important to be aware of potentially fraudulent job postings or opportunities, regardless of where you found them.  The following are a few questions to think about throughout the application and hiring process. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, there is good reason to believe that the opportunity is fraudulent, and you should proceed with caution. 

  • Does the posting or hiring manager promise a large salary with minimal work or position knowledge required? Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Does the hiring manager offer you a position without talking or meeting with you? Legitimate employers, regardless of whether they are a small or large company, will want to meet you in person before hiring you. Employers do this to make sure you're a good fit for their organization, and it is also a chance for you to get a feel for the company culture in advance. If you're hired without ever having set foot in their office, there is a chance that this opportunity is fraudulent.
  • Does the hiring manager communicate with you from a personal email address or an address that does not match the company name? If the company/employer is a small or family-run business, personal email addresses may be used, however, hiring managers and recruiters working on behalf of a well-known company will always have access to an official company email address. If the hiring manager or recruiter contacts you from a personal email address, there may be cause for concern.
  • Does the position require you to transfer or wire funds between accounts? Legitimate employers will never ask you to transfer or wire funds on their behalf. If an employer asks you to transfer or wire funds to anyone, do not participate in any transactions and stop communicating with your contact immediately.
  • Has the company sent you a large check and requested you cash it using your personal account? Legitimate companies will never ask you to cash or deposit a check using your personal bank account. If you cash a check against your account and that check bounces, the money is taken from your account. If an employer asks you to cash a check against your personal bank account, stop communicating with the company immediately.
  • Does the company or hiring manager ask for your personal information (social security number, bank accounts, passport number, etc.) before you have received any offer paperwork from them? Companies and hiring managers should never ask for your personal information before receiving any official offers or paperwork. Employers only need access to this information once you have formally accepted an offer and are starting new hire paperwork. If a company asks for any personal information other than your name or contact information, and stop communications immediately. Do not send any personal information.

If any of the warning signs come up as a result of your application to a position in LionSHARE, please notify CCE immediately so we can investigate.  We can be reached at 212-854-9167 or careereducation@columbia.edu.

Looking for more information? The Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information on Job Scams also provides helpful information on identifying fraudulent job postings and offers.

Resources for Reporting Suspicious Employers & Fraudulent Job Postings

Although the overwhelming majority of employers and job postings are legitimate, there may be fraudulent employer postings that will attempt to scam students through University job boards across the country, including here at Columbia. These fraudulent employers and companies are very elaborate and will attempt to convince you that they are legitimate.  Are you the victim of a fraudulent job posting?  If so, please see the following resources that the Center for Career Education has put together.  These resources are available for you to get help.

  • Columbia University Public Safety is available to assist Columbia University students, faculty and staff 24/7. Please contact Public Safety's emergency line if you feel you are in immediate danger. Otherwise, use Public Safety's non-emergency line to report incidents that do not pose an immediate threat to you or the campus community.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint (IC3) accepts Internet crime complaints from victims or third parties, and provides instructions on how to file a complaint.
  • U.S. Department of Justice accepts reports of job scam incidents that have occurred over the Internet.

Remember to trust your instincts. If anything about an interaction with an employer or company feels suspicious or wrong, end the communication immediately. Remember, legitimate companies will never ask you for personal information, will never ask you to cash checks against or withdraw money from your personal bank account, and will never hire you without meeting you in person at their office. Although most employers are legitimate, you should always proceed with caution. If something looks and sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  You should also be sure to report fraudulent activity to the Center for Career Education immediately, so that the posting can be removed and other students won't be negatively impacted.

If you have any questions about any of the information provided, please contact the Center for Career Education at 212-854-9167 or careereducation@columbia.edu.