Fraudulent Job Alert
Unfortunately, fraudulent job postings continue to be prevalent on the internet as scam artists try to take advantage of eager job seekers. Be vigilant and use good judgement when evaluating and interacting with all potential employers.
UC Berkeley’s primary job & internship platform, Handshake, employs a robust Trust & Safety Team, which aims to prevent and stop fraudulent employer access to the system. Additionally, the Career Center researches and vets every organization that requests access to recruit at Berkeley via Handshake. Nevertheless, scammers continue to innovate and do occasionally find ways to connect with students outside of our control, for example hacking a legitimate employer’s email or Handshake account. It is important to know that there is inherent risk built into any job search activity, and all users of the Handshake system must familiarize themselves with and agree to the Terms and Conditions when using the platform.
Contact the Career Center immediately if you are suspicious of any employer listing or follow-up. You are the next line of defense against these scam artists.
Here are some good clues that a job is probably a scam:
- Your contact’s email address is a gmail or other generic email account and does not match the company’s website domain.
- An employer asks you to cash a check and buy items or gift cards for them, or they ask you to wire them money
- The employer requests banking or sensitive personal information prior to you accepting a job offer
- You are asked to pay for your own training or an on-boarding program from the organization (note: there are some legitimate internship experiences that are fee-based)
- You are asked to download unusual software for your interview, such as an encrypted, text-based communication platform
- You are offered a job without ever meeting a person on video or in-person, and/or you never receive an offer letter specifying start date, salary, work location, etc.
- Activity for these types of scams often occurs over the weekend. Pay special attention to jobs that may have been posted on a Saturday or Sunday when reviewing jobs on any job board.
In most cases, if an employment arrangement seems “too good to be true,” it probably is! Proceed with caution. Ask questions. Conduct an internet search of the organization or the address. Don’t be pressured into accepting a job that makes you suspicious or uncomfortable. End all communications if you doubt the legitimacy of the job or the company.
Learn more about common scams and how to avoid them:
- Handshake Article: “Safety: Protecting Your Personal Information”
- US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – Scam alerts
- US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – Information on tax scams and consumer alerts
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – Immigration scams
What to do if you encounter potential fraud or scams during your job search:
- If you believe your information has been compromised or you are a victim to a crime, contact UCPD or your local authorities. Consider whether to also report the incident to your financial institutions or government entities, change passwords, etc. Keep records of your interactions.
- If you are concerned about identity theft, visit these resources:
- Flag the employer account in Handshake so they can research and prevent other students from being impacted
- Additionally, we encourage you to send the Career Center your questions and alert us to any issues by forwarding related emails, screenshots, or other communications to firstname.lastname@example.org