Skip to content Skip to Live Chat
Close Nav

Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

May 6, 2020

Career Services

Avoiding job search scams.

Tips to help you make sure you don't get involved with a fraudulent employer.

Online scams

This time of the year is usually rife with IRS and tax scams. Being prudent and careful is necessary and smart. The same could be said for scam and fraudulent employers who operate year-round. Given the recent changes in the economy as well as the launching of our new career management system, WGU Handshake, WGU Career & Professional Development wants you to be safe. Here are some things to consider as you contemplate a job opportunity on WGU Handshake: 

  • Research the company and the recruiter. Check out the company website to see what you can learn about their culture and their business model. If they have a list of staff members, see if you can find the name of the recruiter listed on the job posting. 
  • Familiarize yourself with common job scams. Forbes has a great article here
  • If something feels “too good to be true”, be suspicious."Make $300 in a day from home". Large sums of money for minimal work is a common tactic that a scammer will use to lure applicants in and steal your information. If a job seems “too good to be true,” flag that employer so Handshake can investigate immediately and protect you from being potentially scammed. You can click here to learn how to flag an employer.  
  • Never cash a check for, or give any money to, an employer. A common technique of internet scammers is to ask you to cash a check at a bank, and then return some of that money to the employer while you get to keep some of the cash for yourself. This is a scam. No reputable employer will require you to pay for anything on your own, or cash a check on their behalf, before starting your job. If you receive an email asking you to do anything remotely like this, flag the employer immediately and contact your city’s Better Business Bureau
  • Be wary of an employer who offers you a job before even speaking with you. Any reputable employer normally requires an interview (and more) before hiring. If you have any questions or concerns, flag the employer and Handshake will investigate. 

If you believe you have been contacted by or have given your personal information to a fraudulent employer, please review steps to take here: What To Do If You've Given Your Personal Information To A Fraudulent Employer

Looking for more reading on the topic? If so, check out our article in the WGU Handshake Resource Library on How to Avoid Fraudulent Job/Internship Postings for additional tips and considerations like understanding warning signs, researching employers, protecting yourself, and what to do if you are already involved in a scam. 

Share this:

One online university. Four colleges. Flexible degrees.

Our focus on your success starts with our focus on four high-demand fields: K–12 teaching and education, nursing and healthcare, information technology, and business. Every degree program at WGU is tied to a high-growth, highly rewarding career path. Which college fits you?

Want to see all the degrees WGU has to offer? View all degrees