How to Avoid Scams

Please be advised that College of Marin’s Transfer and Career Center does not screen employers or potential clients. If you think a posting is a scam, please contact the center at (415) 485-9670 or

A Smart Job Search is a Safe Job Search

The College of Marin Transfer and Career Center is dedicated to providing the safest possible environment for you to search for jobs. To assist with that goal, we ask that you keep a few simple security precautions in mind when evaluating job postings.

For example, it’s possible that you may encounter fraudulent job opportunities when searching for jobs online, or may receive fraudulent email.

Regrettably, all online services are susceptible to occasional scams. While the Transfer and Career Center makes every effort to prevent this abuse, it is not immune to such activity. To help you conduct a safer job search, we’ve assembled the following security-related topics.

Email Scams

Spoofing: forgery of an e-mail header so that the message appears to have originated from someone other than the actual source.

Phishing: fraudulent employer tries to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information, by appearing as a trustworthy entity. Both terms refer to fraudulent emails that illegally collect personal information.

Resume Security

While fraud is prevalent online, it tends to be focused on companies that derive their business from online purchases. As the Transfer and Career Center services are free, and the contact information found in a resume can just as easily be located elsewhere (e.g. telephone listings), you can be assured that posting you resume on College of Marin’s online job board is a safe way to conduct a job search. However, you do need to be mindful about the type of information you include on your resume. For example, the following personal information should never be included:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Bank account information
  • Credit card information
  • Passwords
  • Date of birth

Note: You should also never share the personal information listed above with a prospective employer until you are confident that the employer and employment opportunity is legitimate.

Money Laundering and Reshipping Scams

Job seekers who use online job search websites must be careful to avoid a type of job scam in which an applicant is asked to accept payment to his or her own bank account. These are known as payment-forwarding or payment-transfer scams.

Payment-transfer scams involve a con artist who pretends to be an employer. The con artist uses a job ad to lure an unsuspecting job seeker, or they may use information for a resume they have found online. Such con artists can be quite convincing, and may even steal company names and corporate logos to convince victims that they are legitimate employers.

Recognizing Business Opportunity Fraud

High Pay. No experience necessary. Chances are you’ve seen a job posting that seems too good to be true. We can help you spot the scams.

Pyramid Schemes

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business that involves the exchange of money, usually in the form of a sign-up fee, and usually has no product or service.  The hallmark of these schemes is the promise of sky-high returns in a short period of time for doing nothing other than handing over your money and getting others to do the same.   Pyramid Schemes are illegal!

Work-at-Home Scams

If you think you might have identified a legitimate work-at-home job. It’s time to do some research. Here are three trusted sites: The Better Business Bureau; The Federal Trade Commission (FTC);

Reporting Fraud

If you see a questionable job posting or any potential misuse of the Transfer and Career Center Services, please report the suspected fraud to The College of Marin Transfer and Career Center at (415) 485-9670 and also report it to the local police department.

Safety Precautions

When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:

  • Insist on public meeting place
  • Tell a friend or family member where you’re going
  • Take your cell phone along if you have one
  • Consider having a friend accompany you
  • Trust your instincts