Is the Job Offer I Received a Scam?

UAH students are being sent job offer scams, usually by email, inviting you to apply for or start a job.  It is important that students examine these emails with skepticism and a critical eye.

What does a job offer scam look like?

These job offers are often unsolicited, meaning you never applied or interviewed for the job. Other times, you are invited to apply for a job with unusually desirable conditions (short hours, easy work, lots of money, ability to work from home) and may be light on actual job details. These scams can also start with someone offering to help you with your resume or find a placement in a job.

But the job is not real and they are merely seeking to collect your personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

Many college students are anxious about finding a job, and these scams use tactics meant to trigger those anxieties. If someone contacts you with an unexpected job offer, here are some things to look for to help determine if it’s a scam.  

1. Scams are generic

“Dear student,” one scam email begins, “We got your contact through your school directory…”

Emails that don't mention specifics like your name or the school you attend are kept general so they can be sent to many people at once. It is highly uncommon for a company to offer a job to a large group of people, especially when those people haven’t applied or interviewed.

Job offer scams might also include generic job descriptions like “organize items orders [sic]” or “[write] detailed reports,” and sometimes include no job description at all.

2. Scams are unsolicited

“You are selected from your school directory to partake in the ongoing Student Empowerment Program PART TIME JOB OFFER…” reads another scam email.

Any student who has applied for jobs knows the market can be competitive. And just as companies don't typically offer jobs to a large number of people, they also don't typically select those people at random.

If you receive an offer for a job you didn't apply for, and they claim to have found you through “your school directory” or “your school job search,” you are most likely the target of a scam.

3. Scams are too good to be true

One scam email from “Dr. Sophia” (no company listed) encourages you to “Work 4-8 hours weekly and get paid $250.” That’s $31.25 an hour—not bad for an entry-level position you were chosen randomly for.

Job offer scams entice with unbelievably good pay for very easy work—something that just isn't that common in the real job market.

4. Scams have spelling and grammar errors

Emails from reputable companies will, at a minimum, have few or no spelling or grammar errors. An abundance of errors in spelling or grammar is a red flag that the offer may not be legitimate..

The following are all quotes from real job offer scams:

“Accompanied by an attractive wages and an reasonable working hours per week.”

“Do not need a transportable mechanism as all needed task can be done online.”

“Receive detailed invoice showing all products ordered for are correct and in place.”

“I am emailing you concerning a new employment offer through the university's and part-time job, you will be working remotely anywhere your at your dorm or home and you will be getting $450 weekly.”

5. Scams sometimes impersonate UAH personnel

Sometimes scammers impersonate instructors, advisors, deans or other members of the UAH community to trick students and employees into giving up personal information. This can also take the form of a fake job offer.

UAH personnel should not be emailing you from email addresses.  Any email that claims to be from a UAH official but comes from a email address should be viewed with skepticism.

To protect yourself from job scams involving someone pretending to be a UAH community member, do not respond to any unsolicited emailed job offers without verifying through an official UAH source. The same applies to text messages, even if the sender claims to be someone you know from UAH.

Stay safe!

When in doubt, look for these signs, and use your best judgment.  Context is important. One of these might not catch your attention. But when you look carefully and see a few of these things at once, you know you might be dealing with a fraudulent email.

For more information on what to do if you believe you've been a victim of a scam or phishing attempt, please visit this related article.


Article ID: 154921
Mon 4/17/23 10:41 AM
Wed 8/2/23 3:52 PM

Related Articles (1)

Tips to spot a phishing attempt

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Issue with spam or phishing email?