FSU student contacted by fraudulent employer

By Jillian Poland

Assistant News Editor

An FSU student was asked to transfer funds to a different country by someone posing as a potential employer, according to Dawn Ross, director of career services and employer relations.

The false employer claimed to have gotten the student’s information through the University’s RamTrack system, which allows students to post resumes for potential employers to view, Ross said.

The student received an email from the false employer “seeking a ‘Personal Assistant For Busy Executive.’

“The student was offered a job and then was asked to accept a check for a large amount of money and then asked to transfer funds to someone in a different country,” according to a campus-wide email from Career Services sent Nov. 7.

The student reported the incident to University Police on Nov. 4, according to Sgt. Martin Laughlin. There have been “three or four reports” of fraudulent or suspicious emails since the incident.

Ross said Career Services could not find a post on RamTrack by the fraudulent employer or under the names listed in the email correspondence with the student. However, Career Services is looking into the possibility that someone could have accessed the RamTrack system without being a registered employer.

There are 4,000 jobs and internships posted on RamTrack each year, according to Ross. Additionally, there are 7,300 employer contacts representing 6,000 different organizations.

Ross said, “It takes a lot of work and a lot of time” to vet employers before granting them access to the RamTrack system. Ross and two other staff members are in charge of screening the job postings, along with the regular demands of their positions.

Potential employers call, email, or stop by the Career Services office to apply for approval to be posted on the RamTrack system, said Ross.

Once an employer expresses interest, one of the three staff members will research the company and the job.

“We call. We look at websites. What I do is I put in the name of the company and put ‘scam’ in a Google search and see if there is anybody else that has reported it,” Ross said.

She added once an employer has been approved, they are given a link to set up their job posting. Their posting will only be made live once someone in Career Services approves it a final time.

Ross said the only other report Career Services has received about a similar incident was a few years ago when an employer asked a student to send them a money order.

After this incident, a warning was posted on the home page of RamTrack cautioning students about fraudulent job postings and instructing them not to give or wire employers money.

Ross said she considered changing the system to make it so employers had no access to student information, but she abandoned the idea when she realized it would hinder students’ ability to apply for jobs.

“So many students do get positions and internships through RamTrack, that I’d hate to just say, liability-wise, we’re just not going to do it,” said Ross.

Laughlin said, “There’s nothing to prevent something like this. … Everyday someone is coming up with some new type of scam, so realistically we can only prepare students as we have in the past.”

Ross warned students to be vigilant not only on RamTrack, but on sites such as Indeed and Simply Hired. She suggested never to put your address on a resume unless you are familiar with the company you are applying to and to make a separate email just for applying to jobs online.

Ross encourages any students with concerns about a job offer to speak to Career Services and have the office help them research the position, even if it does not come from RamTrack.

“I just want to make sure that students don’t fall for these scams. … There’s a lot of bad people out there. They’re evil,” she said.

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