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Career Services warns students of online scams

April 26, 2016

Photo of a combination lock around computer cablesCareer Services is reminding students to keep in mind the wise adage of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” when obtaining or sharing information online.

Scams are targeting nearly everyone across the country via email, malicious webpages, search results and postings on online communication boards.

Online job systems also have been vulnerable.

“Understanding that cyber-scams are a reality, we encourage students to exercise safety, along with a healthy degree of skepticism and caution, when using any online service; this includes any online job site,” said Brandon Lagana, acting executive director and director of Strategic Planning & Analysis in Career Services.

“NIU Career Services welcomes your questions related to vetting job postings or suspicious emails asking for money, sending you checks to cash or asking for personal information.”

Career Services maintains a website that helps students understand how to guard against online scams, including job scams.

“Remember, online scammers continuously find new methods to fool unsuspecting users,” Lagana added. “When in doubt, ask.”

Warning signs

  • Too good to be true.
  • You didn’t contact them, they contacted you.
  • The pay is great.
  • You get the job right away.
  • Vague requirements and job description.
  • Poorly written email or lack of contact info on email.
  • Online interviews Yahoo IM.
  • Researching the company doesn’t yield good information.
  • Asked to provide confidential information.
  • They say they will send you money or want you to pay for something.

If any of these situations occur to you, contact Career Services immediately:

  • Requests for money (email or online): Do not send provide money, bank account, credit or debit card numbers to anyone.
  • Checks sent to you: If you are sent a check to cash, DO NOT PAY / DO NOT CASH ANY CHECKS sent to you. Contact NIU Career Services immediately.
  • Any email you receive where you are not certain of the sender but requests personal information for a job you’d be perfect for should be properly researched to avoid identity theft.

For more information, (815) 753-1641 or email [email protected].