Experts warn post-graduates they could be targets of job scams

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—- Post-graduation is usually a challenge to younger adults wanting to establish themselves in the workforce. Career experts say fresh graduates lack experience, and their application process looks like a daunting task. 

However, innocently placing personal information online could become a dangerous hub for scammers, and these young adults might even fall victim to job scams. 

Randi Martinez, a career consultant working for Michigan State University spoke with WLNS to provide broad career tips to recent graduates. Martinez specifically pinpointed, when resumes are recently submitted online and an employer immediately contacts that individual it could be an indicator of a scam. 

 “The typical recruiting process doesn’t work that quickly especially if you’re from a different state, and city” stated Martinez, “and they get right back and say ‘hey can you interview tomorrow? Or, ‘lets interview right now?’”

Martinez wants to educate younger adults to follow her rules of researching, understanding, and not sharing their personal information with employers they have never met. She says personal information can look anything like social security numbers, home addresses, and banking information. 

However, she suggests for people to observe their job descriptions they’re applying to. Martinez clarified that scammers usually make their position sound like anyone’s dream job. Allegedly, the words they use the market to people’s weaknesses.  Martinez states scams can happen in most job-areas, however, marketing and advertising are usually the fields that trick younger people into door-to-door sales. 

“It’s never too late to do some research to talk to someone, right?” Martinez exclaimed, “You feel like maybe it’s not a legitimate company… please look at the Better Business Bureau.” 

Troy Baker is the Educational Foundation Director for the Better Business Bureau, and he states their “2020 Scam Tracker Risk Report” determined employment scams as the second-largest fraud to affect young people. Baker states even prior to the pandemic, postgraduate students need financial stability and that weakness can make them an easy target for scam predators to prey on. 

“These are people who will solicit a job and make you think it’s a work from home job, something simple will pay real-well,” stated Baker,“and you’ll do the work and not get paid and usually that work involves some form of being a middleman for their scam.”

The Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker is a crowd-sourced tool. Their findings say 97.8 percent of the individuals who used it wanted to warn others about a scam. Plus, they also used the tool 91 percent of the time to bring justice to the perpetrator. Baker states usually a common denominator between most scammers is forcing people to join their workforce. 

“Scammers will prey on the unknown so if there is any confusion on your part they’ll take advantage of it,” Baker said.“So, make sure you have a full understanding of what is being offered since it is the best way to keep yourself safe.” 

Meanwhile, Baker and Martinez recommend asking follow-up questions during the interview process. Plus, they say some extra tips, such as researching the business on google. They say not only is the business interviewing you, but you are also interviewing the business. 

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