As the end of spring semester creeps closer, thousands of UWM students are heading toward the job market.
That’s a prime opportunity for job scammers to target students, UWM’s Career Planning and Resource Center warns.
Job scams can take many forms but are commonly mass phishing emails from fraudulent or fake employers. Such emails will often name UWM or the Career Planning and Resource Center in the subject line to trick students with the familiar-looking façade as part of a scam attempt. Additionally, one may notice that the email addresses are similar. For example, one recent email included many addresses that began with “zimme…”
The positions will often appear too good to be true, offering a large amount of money for just a few hours of work per week. The employment ‘offer’ will be made without traditional application or resume, and no face-to-face or even phone contact occurs prior to being offered the job.
The career center notes three key steps to keep clear of such scams as students begin job hunting.
First, students should make sure that they thoroughly research a potential employer before sharing personal information. Exploring a company’s website, reading customer reviews or searching social media can be good tools in determining the authenticity of an email or job offer. LinkedIn is a great way to validate an individual’s credibility, too.
Students should also be aware of the steps to the employment. Personal details such as Social Security numbers or banking information should not be shared unless a formal agreement to be hired has been reached with an employer. If such information is requested in the interview or application stages, there may be cause for concern. Additionally, payments should never be made from a prospective employee to an employer.
Additionally, asking questions can be a student’s best friend. If an employer is unwilling to disclose important information, or cannot be contacted, the offer may be a scam.
The Career Planning and Resource Center asks that any suspected fraudulent employers be reported by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.