Fraudulent Employers – Tips for Students

The UConn Center for Career Development makes every effort to screen employers and job postings on Handshake. However, the Career Center acts only as an intermediary between employers posting job opportunities and candidates searching for job opportunities.

By National Association of Colleges and Employers

Unfortunately, not all employment opportunities are legitimate; entities may pose as employers as part of a scam to elicit personal information from or otherwise defraud their victims. Career centers and students alike must be vigilant about fraudulent employers and should identify steps to take to verify the legitimacy of an employer.

STUDENTS: RED FLAGS TO CONSIDER

  • Research company websites thoroughly: Does the company have a website? Does the website match up with the job posting? Does the website look legitimate? Look to see if the organization is using a company domain versus a general Gmail or Yahoo 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, LinkedIn, Instagram. 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. The Center for Career Development vets employers before they post jobs or contact students through Handshake. Fraudulent employers may begin their emails with greetings such as “Dear Student.” Be diligent and reach out to us at career@uconn.edu 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 that were sent 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,
  • reach out to us at career@uconn.edu. We’re here to help.

The bottom line is if you have any questions, talk to someone before pursuing any job opportunity. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If You Are Suspicious of a Job Posting or Email

Immediately end communication with the employer and contact the Center for Career Development at career@uconn.edu or (860) 486-3013.

If You Think You Have Been the Victim of a Job Scam

  • Contact the Center for Career Development at career@uconn.edu or (860) 486-3013 to report the incident and receive additional support navigating your next steps and action.
  • Contact your local police department to open an investigation.
  • If the incident occurred completely over the internet, you can file an incident report with the US Department of Justice or by calling the FTC at 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).
  • Once you are hired, if you have any concerns about the legitimacy of the company or believe the work environment to be unsafe, contact the US Department of Labor.

Click infographic to enlarge.

Phishing infographic. Visit https://www.aba.com/news-research/research-analysis/phishing-dont-take-the-bait for text.

Infographic courtesy of the American Bankers Association.

By Robert Volle
Robert Volle Program Director - Regional Campuses & CPR Robert Volle