Scammers Seeking Students Seeking Work

– Goodbye, spring break…hello,
summer! For college and high school students statewide, the summer job hunt
starts now, and the Wisconsin Departments of Workforce Development (DWD) and
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) ask students to be on the
lookout for questionable job postings, particularly those featuring
too-good-to-be-true employment offers or those asking for upfront payment for
training or materials.

“Businesses throughout
Wisconsin are on the hunt for good candidates, but mixed within legitimate
employment listings are job postings made by scam artists,” said Michelle
Reinen, DATCP’s Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Students should
be on the lookout for ‘get rich quick’ ploys, fake check scams, phony mystery
shopper offers, and work-at-home schemes.”

DWD operates, the state’s free online public labor exchange that
connects talent with opportunity and currently has over 95,000 job postings. While
DWD strives to validate the identity of all employer representatives who post
jobs directly on the site, users are also advised to use caution if they opt to
search external sites from

"At the Job Center of
Wisconsin, our top priority is maintaining trust in the security of our
system," DWD Division of Employment & Training Division Administrator
Chytania Brown said. "We do everything we can to ensure our registered job
seekers and employers are protected from any intentional misuse. Even so,
visitors to our site must also take responsibility for and carefully examine
their own online interactions and activities."
includes a list of cautions, including many that are applicable to any online
employment site. DWD and DATCP offer the following tips to help students
protect themselves when they seek seasonal jobs:

  • It is not common or normal practice for an employer to ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number and bank account number (or similar personal financial information) on an initial application. Be wary and use good judgment if unusual information is requested.

  • Be suspicious of any job offer that requires an upfront fee. Do not provide credit card or bank account numbers and be careful of requests for payment by wire transfer.

  • Any “job” that requires you to cash a check and send any amount of it to another party is a scam.  

  • Be cautious when dealing with any contacts outside of the United States. It is difficult to pursue any enforcement action against a person located outside of this country.

  • Research an organization before making any commitments. Ask for information about the company, including its street address and the name of its owner or chief operating officer. You may wish to call DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7128) to check on complaints against the business.

  • Get the job offer in writing, including any earnings you are expected to make.

  • If the interview request or job offer is for a job you did not apply for, it is most likely a scam.

  • Scammers often send "spoofed" emails with forged email headers that make the messages appear to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. If the web address (URL) referenced in the sender’s email address does not match the true URL for the business in question, the email may be a scam. The official email address for the Job Center of Wisconsin is [email protected]

A common employment scam to
watch out for begins with an email request for a "Google Hangout"
interview for a work-at-home position. The scammer uses a legitimate company
name and claims to have found the job seeker’s resume on an online employment
site. After a job offer is made during the “interview,” the job seeker is sent
a check or money order for "office supplies and equipment," is
instructed to deposit it into their personal account, and is told to buy
expensive equipment from a particular vendor. 
Unfortunately, the check or money order are fake and the job seeker will
be on the hook for the full amount of money withdrawn when the bank discovers
the fraud.

For additional information on
job opportunities in Wisconsin, visit the Job Center of
Wisconsin website.  A number of DATCP fact sheets
relating to job scams can be found on the agency’s consumer fact sheets webpage under the “Employment” heading.

Robert graduated from Brandman University, where he got his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Born in Massachusetts, Robert’s family moved to Kentucky in 2005 where he spent his college life and worked as an insurance agent for four years. Now is the founder and team leader of the website.

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