Fall is a busy time for many employers with a variety of hiring opportunities. Occasionally, fraudulent employers will add postings to many of job board sites that are not legitimate. The Career Center team evaluates any employer attempting to post such opportunities on Handshake, flagging and denying them the ability to add their job. However, with the number of external job boards available online, a live posting from one of these companies may appear to be valid. So what are some “red flags” students should be aware of and consider to avoid fraudulent employers when using online job and internship sites? Below are a few tips to assist you:
Research company websites thoroughly: Does the company have a website? Does the website match up with the posting? Does the website look legitimate?
Look to see if the organization is using a company domain versus a general Gmail or Hotmail account. Match the e-mail address to the company domain. Watch for e-mail addresses that are similar looking, but not the same. Look for “stock photos,” grammatical errors, and poor use of the English language.
Be leery of non-approved employment flyers on college campuses and other establishments.
Use social media to research each employer, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn. Research the company on websites such as Glassdoor.com for feedback and complaints.
Be cognizant of unsolicited e-mails that are not specifically directed to you. Many employers have access to resumes via career centers. Therefore, reach out to your career center should you have any concerns or questions.
Keep your private information private! Don’t share personal information, e.g., social security numbers, banking information, credit or debit card numbers, PINs, passwords, birthday, address, mother’s maiden name).
Never process ANY financial transactions. For example: Some companies offer opportunities to “make money really quick.” They will offer a “one day only special.” Their intent is to defraud you by sending or wiring money to your bank account. They will ask you to cash the check or send the monies to other accounts. Once your bank or financial institution processes the scammer’s check or financial request, you may be informed the monies are invalid or “not real.” In the meantime, you are held responsible for the funds the bank has sent in your direction to other accounts.
Fraudulent companies are phishing for the unsuspecting, including you. Be aware of what you share and post online. If you feel uncomfortable or aren’t sure about certain companies or employers, talk to your career center.
Bottom line, if you have any questions, talk to your Internship and Career Advisor before pursuing any opportunity. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.