SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR ONLINE JOB SEARCH
Career Navigator and other online job systems have made it easier for you to find positions posted by employers seeking candidates. Unfortunately, the same technology makes it easier for scammers to create fraudulent positions to take advantage of you. While we try to screen employers and the positions they post to Career Navigator, it is very important that you as a job seeker exercise common sense and caution. You need to read position descriptions carefully!
If a position or job offer seems to be too good to be true, if you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or something just doesn't seem right - either back off or proceed with extreme caution. Even if the original position description seems valid, if you receive follow-up e-mails, phone calls or job offers that seem unusual, you need to proceed cautiously.
Here are some red flags:
- You are asked to give credit card, bank or PayPal account numbers
- You are asked to send a payment by wire service or courier.
- You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account - often for depositing checks or transferring money.
- You receive an unexpectedly large check
- You are asked to transfer money, including via e-Bay, PayPal or Western Union money orders
- You are asked for personal information such as your Social Security Number
- You are requested to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver's license to "verify identity"
- You are asked to complete a background check before you can be considered for a position.
- The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact's e-mail address doesn't match the company's website domain (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com)
- The job posting doesn't mention the responsibilities of the job; rather it focuses on the amount of money you will make.
Also, please be aware that there are FAKE job posting being sent via email. Some may even tell you that they got your email address or resume from your school's career center - which is untrue.
If you receive an email that meets the following criteria it's probably not a real job offer. Do not click on any links in that email and DO NOT provide any personal information!
As with fraudulent job postings, beware if the email:
- does not indicate the company name, or says it is from a reputable company, but the sender uses Hotmail, live.com, or a non-corporate email address
- tells you they "don't have time" to do the work themselves, it's easier/quicker to find someone else to do it for them
- offers to pays a large amount for almost no work
- offers you a job without ever interacting with you
- wants you to transfer money from one account to another
- offers to send you a check before you do any work
- says you must send payment by wire service or courier
- offers you a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account - often for depositing checks or transferring money
- sends you an unexpectedly large check
See a sample of a fraudulent/scam email here.
If you encounter suspicious postings in Career Navigator or receive a questionable email:
- Please report your experience to the Academic Discovery Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-496-9800 (so we can remove the postings) and to The Internet Crime Complaint Center
- End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts over the next few days, to be on the safe side.
- Contact the local police and report the fraud or scam.
- If you have sent money to a fraud employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close your account and dispute the charges.
- If the incident occurred entirely over the internet, file an incident report with the FCC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or at http://www.cybercrime.gov.
More Resources for Safe Online Job Searching: