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Cornell University

Tips To Avoid Fake Student Job Postings That Can Cost You Money

How to avoid job scams targeting students.

This article applies to: Security & Policy

Watch out for fake job offers. Scammers are contacting Cornell students, pretending to be professors offering part-time research and administrative jobs. Students who apply end up losing their own money through fraudulent banking transactions.

Be suspicious if a listing:

  • Asks for your bank account number so they can pay you.

  • Asks you to pay money or give them secure personal information.
  • Asks you to buy equipment or supplies for a virtual job.
  • Links to a generic email address (like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo), not corporate or academic email.
  • Requires no interview or previous experience.
  • Came out of the blue to your inbox or phone.
  • Doesn't list a recognizable department, university, or company.
  • Sounds too good to be true!

Student job! What's your bank account number? The real Ezra wouldn't ask.

Online job boards seem like a great way to scour the web for opportunities, but they also give scammers a direct line to your contact information, so be vigilant. Recognize red flags, do your homework, and make sure it's legit. Keep safe online!

If a message says a professor is looking for student help, check the Phish Bowl to see whether it's a fake message. Also, check Verified Communications (login required) to see whether it's a real Cornell message. If you don't find it in either place, check with the professor's department or college.

The best place to find legitimate student jobs is Cornell's Student Employment site. Or, for internships and post-graduation jobs, job postings can be found through Career Services.

Report Suspicious Emails

Join Cornell’s first line of defense against digital bad actors with PhishAlarm, a new email button that allows you to more easily report suspicious messages to the IT Security Office from Gmail or Outlook.

The button appears in different places, depending on your device and interface. Examples and additional details can be found on the PhishAlarm instructions page.


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