Online Safety Tips

If a position or job offer seems to be too good to be true, if you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or something just doesn't seem right – either back off or proceed with extreme caution. Even if the original position description seems valid, if you receive follow-up e-mails, phone calls or job offers that seem unusual, you need to proceed cautiously.

Here are some red flags:

  • You are asked to give credit card, bank or PayPal account numbers
  • You are asked to send a payment by wire service, transfer, or courier.
  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account - often for depositing checks or transferring money.
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check.
  • You are asked for personal information such as your Social Security Number.
  • You are requested to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver's license to "verify identity".
  • The job posting doesn't mention the responsibilities of the job; rather it focuses on the amount of money you will make.
  • Be wary of postings for Mystery Shoppers, work at home, or virtual Administrative Assistants or Bookkeepers.
  • If you are an entry-level candidate with little experience, be wary of an offer with a salary that is way out of range.
  • Are there multiple misspellings in the job notice?
  • If the position listing does it include travel expenses? Has up front program fees?
  • Verify that a URL listed in the ad goes to the internet domain of the company that listed it. For example, if the ad lists "www.ucsc.edu/hr" but when you click on it, goes to "www.ucss.edu", it could be a scam.
  • The position initially seems to be a traditional job, but upon further research or contact, is actually an independent contractor or f
  • In addition, you may receive a job offer in response to your application to a legitimate-appearing job description that is actually just a marketing e-mail to sell you job search "help." Some other tips:

If you encounter suspicious postings in SlugQuest:

  • Please report your experience to UCSC Career Center at slugquest@ucsc.edu or 831.459.4767 and to The Internet Crime Complaint Center
  • End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts over the next few days, to be on the safe side.
  • Contact the police and report the fraud or scam.
  • If you have sent money to a fraud employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close your account and dispute the charges.
  • If the incident occurred entirely over the internet, file an incident report with the FCC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or at http://www.cybercrime.gov
  • SlugQuest Privacy Policy