By: Becky Smith & Kristen Eckman
Scams are not a new phenomenon, but the ways in which they are being delivered to you are always evolving, making deceitful postings more difficult to spot. Check out this email that was distributed across campus this week, thankfully it was spotted by many, including Dean Wenner:
Every semester, students bring scams to our attention – this is extremely helpful and we appreciate your diligence.
When you forward a suspicious email you received or tell us about an experience that made you think twice; you are helping us to ensure that other students are not being sucked into a possible scam.
We are here to help you spot a scam based on the following tips:
- Email is not written in native English and may include phrases we usually don’t use in business English, such as “many blessings upon you” or “God bless” (many legit employer emails are edited thoughtfully, even if you’re recruited by a non-native speaker)
- Language is informal, more suited to social media or text, i.e., “BTW”, “2” instead of “two”
- They email you multiple times, turning up the pressure. This is a common tactic to persuade skeptical students or stress them out so they aren’t thinking clearly. Do not respond; instead, forward suspicious messages to me for a second opinion.
- The person who signs the email has a different name than the sender’s name
- The message is sent from a non-corporate email, i.e., gmail or hotmail
- The email address does not match the company’s URL on line, i.e., an email from wit.com when Wentworth’s website is wit.edu
SUSPICIOUS JOB DESCRIPTION
- Get trained and promoted within 1-3 months
- Jobs that mention “direct marketing”, “flexible schedule”, “work from home”, or a salary based on performance
- Competitive incentives available if you meet targets (this implies you’ll likely be fired if you don’t meet the targets in a very short amount of time)
- Job title implies that you will be an independent consultant (it implies that you are on your own – not much job security if you have challenges!)
- A vague job description is also suspicious
- The employer does all the talking – is very energetic – seems to be selling the opportunity to you, seems to really like you, but isn’t asking any questions about your skills or trying to get to know you on a professional level
OTHER RED FLAGS
- They extend a job offer without conducting an interview
- The employer asks you to complete an assignment before work officially begins, i.e., sending a wire transfer, mailing a check (they want your money)
- There is a lack of structure and/or lack of a job description
- It is unclear who will be your supervisor
If you receive an email or participate in an interview that feels off somehow, immediately check with your Co-op + Career Advisor or stop by CO-OPS + CAREERS for advice from anyone on staff. To contact us stop by 101 Wentworth Hall, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-989-4101.