Stanford job portal warns students of fraudulent postings

The Center for Career Development (CDC) sent out two messages earlier this month to students registered in their database warning about potentially fraudulent job postings on Cardinal Careers, Stanford’s online job-searching portal.

The first email was sent Dec. 5 after student reports revealed schemes that asked job candidates to forward money to employers. Only two students were involved and only one forwarded the requested funds, according to CDC Director Lance Choy.

While the first email cautioned specifically of the fraudulent job listings on Cardinal Careers, the second gave a broader warning, outlining nine red flags students should look for “when applying to any job, anywhere in the world.”

In the email, Choy cautioned students to be wary of certain warning signs, like job offers that promise to hire a student without any direct interaction, job offers that send a check before work is done or offer a large payment in exchange for use of a student’s bank account and job listings that lack a company name or an email that matches the company name, among others.

Cardinal Careers helps connect employers with Stanford students seeking a job. Both parties are asked to create a user profile. While students and alumni must provide their SUID numbers, which can be verified electronically, employers are required to provide information about identity, industry type, and a description of their business — all items that are difficult to verify.

Choy explained that the system does not screen employers, but rather monitors job posts by looking for suspicious or misspelled emails, employer descriptions and other profile data. Despite this monitoring, Choy said, rogue employers can occasionally enter the system.

“While Cardinal Careers … is a great resource, there’s always the possibility that individuals may seek to use the system to secure your personal information and your money,” Choy wrote in an emailed statement to The Daily.

He added that he did not believe the CDC was especially susceptible because of Stanford’s prominence.

“There is no indication that there is any special effort to target Stanford,” he said.

Falsified employer profiles and fake job postings last appeared on Cardinal Careers about five years ago and were reported to the CDC by a student, Choy said. Such online phishing attempts, which involve requesting personal information from unsuspecting individuals, are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

In light of the possibility for future incidents, Choy emphasized the importance of online safety.

“Students should always be wary whenever submitting information or responding to requests for money or personal information on the Internet,” Choy said. He recommended that students contact the CDC if they suspect an employer has been dishonest or misrepresented itself during an employment search.

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