Common Employment Scams and How to Avoid Them

Scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated. Unfortunately, international students are often a target. It is important for you to know what to look out for and how to protect yourself. 

Tips to Avoid Scams
  • Never open an email attachment or click on a link from someone you don't know.
  • Do not provide personal information to anyone via phone or text unless you have initiated the contact.
  • Always verify the identity of the person you are speaking to before providing personal information over the phone or via text/email.
  • Do not accept payment from a company who has not formally hired you.
  • Do not provide bank details to a company who has not formally hired you.
  • Always trust your instict. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Common Red Flags
  • Inconsistent information about job duties, wages or start date.
  • You are asked to provide personal details or application materials through improper channels.
  • You are offered a job without interviewing for the role.
  • Company provides excuses for not being able to meet in-person or virtually for a job interview.
  • Company requires you to work with a specific "government official" and pay fees to that person in order to work.
  • Employer offers to hire you for the sole purpose of stopping your OPT unemployment counter.
  • Job offers high pay for completion of a simple task or infrequent hours.
  • Provides a vague job description or makes it difficult to discern products or services offered.
  • You are rushed to start work without obtaining work authorization
  • Job posting has multiple typos and grammatical errors
Common Ways Employers May Take Advantage of International Students
  • Employer refuses to pay you for work performed, withholds pay or withholds form W2.
  • Employer asks you to work outside your authorization window.
  • Requires you to perform work that is unrelated to the job description or your degree.
  • Requires you to work full-time when you have only been authorized to work part-time.
  • You are asked to work in unsafe conditions.
What do I do if I have been scammed?
  • Contact the UNT Police and ISSS to report what has happened
  • Forward email scams to
  • For identity or financial theft make a police report
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
  • Compile any documentation you have from the scammer
What do I do if I am scammed and I'm working for the scammer?
  • Contact the ISSS office to report what has happened
  • Compile any documentation you have from the employer
  • ISSS can help assist you in determining your next steps