Thursday, March 15, 2012 myBiz Blog
Bucky’s Career Corner: How to Avoid Job Scams by Rebecca Radke

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With the advancement of modern technology, phishing and scams have become more common in an internet-based environment. We want to provide you with a four tips to successfully detect and avoid job scams altogether.

Four tips to prevent being scammed:
  1. Hold tight to your cash – No job source should ever ask for your credit card or bank information. If they do, get out!  The only time you may need to provide bank information is after you’ve been hired, if you’ve opted to be paid by direct deposit with your bank account. Be wary of “employers” that require you to cash checks, transfer funds, or wire money on their behalf (possibly using your accounts).
  2. Miracles arrive in your inbox – Many employers send out legitimate emails and some illegitimate “businesses” and scammers take advantage of this. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Promises in emails or BuckyNet postings to watch out for may include: Make a lot of money fast, work from home, outrageous claims, a lack of specific job duties, or a request for an investment.  Simply delete these emails without clicking on any links in the email (including the unsubscribe link).  Clicking these links and/or replying to these emails confirms to the scammer that your email address is active, therefore allowing them to send you more scam emails.

    Remember, most students’ emails are available in the public directory on the UW-Madison homepage. Also, many lists of email and mailing addresses are bought and sold by companies.  If you’ve signed up for a list serv, company newsletters, etc. your information may be shared. Check out the privacy policies before handing over your info.
  3. Use your resources – Conduct an online search of any company that solicits you out of the blue and try to find information about their practices.  Often you will encounter numerous articles from people telling you it’s spam.  If the company name is one you know (Keurig is one recent example) go to their actual website (once again DON’T click any links directly from the email), and search around.  Sometimes the official company website will actually tell you that there is a fraudulent email circulating.
  4. Use BuckyNet wisely – Along with emails, BuckyNet has the ability to be abused by scammers as well. The BCC reviews job postings for suspicious activity but it’s impossible to prevent all potential spams and scams. Once again follow the rules of not ever giving out bank or personal information (especially social security number – they should never ask for this!) Use your intuition regarding job postings.  Ask a BCC staff member if you have reservations or questions about a BuckyNet posting.

Overall, the majority of information being emailed to you and exposed on BuckyNet is safe.  If you are ever unsure, don’t pursue the position in any way and ask the BCC for assistance.