• Online Job Search Safety

    Please be aware that we strive to verify that all employers on Talent Connect are legitimate organizations. As part of our effort to ensure quality job searches, we ask that you contact us immediately at talentconnect@michigan.gov if a potential employer on our site contacts you with a request for money, your social security number or wants to send you a check as these are indicators of common employment related scams. If you are unsure if a job offer is legitimate, ask the employer to provide the job code number from Talent Connect as well as their contact phone number and/or email address, and inform them you will contact them back. If the legitimacy of a specific posting is in question, please contact Talent Connect for verification. 

    Examples of Common Employment Related Scams:
    • Check Cashing Scam - Check cashing scams often begin with email communication offering a job but first the job seeker must deposit funds to their bank account. These bogus employers often attempt to reassure the victim of the legitimacy of the position by offering documents which actually have no value, such as invalid contracts, forged or false documents bearing company letterhead, false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts. After obtaining the trust of the victim, the fraud continues. Checks, money orders or wire deposits will be sent to the victim for "processing" at a local bank. The victim will be asked to cash the check or money order (wire deposits will send the money directly to the victim’s account and send a percentage of the funds back to the bogus employer.) The need for the "middle man" is often explained as being a way around international fees or taxes, and sometimes the need to obtain payments from PayPal or another online payment system. Once the funds are sent back to the bogus employer (usually the victim is told to keep a percentage for themselves, as payment for their services) the victim’s bank or financial institution learns that the check/money order/wire transfer was fraudulent. The funds are then subtracted from the victim’s account and the victim is made liable for the lost money.  Get more information> 
    • Instant Messenger - Beware of employers who offer to interview you via an Instant Messenger service (i.e. Yahoo Messenger). Some fraudulent employment offers ask you to set up a Yahoo Instant Messenger account so you can be interviewed. Some even provide a bogus Instant Messenger contact name. Job seekers may be led to believe these are legitimate employers and should avoid setting up such accounts or disclosing any confidential information to such accounts.
    • Conference Call - Some fraudulent employment offers may entice job seekers to attend an upcoming conference call by sending the Job Seeker a specific access code. Be advised there are free conference call services that can be used fraudulently to obtain information for illegal reasons. Job seekers may be led to believe these are legitimate employers simply due to the conference call invitation. Job seekers must be cautious not to disclose any confidential information.
    There are a number of good safety tips associated with open job searches. In his article titled, “Keeping Your Online Job Search Safe,” Mike Hargis, Vice President of Customer Care for CareerBuilder.com, offers the following suggestions for safe online job searches:
    • As a job seeker the best prevention is to avoid being tempted by offers that appear to be "too good to be true."
    • Be cautious of any employer offering employment without an interview, either by phone or in person. No legitimate employer will hire you without first conducting an interview.
    • Thoroughly investigate any employer who requires a fee before you can start working for them. Rarely will you find a legitimate employer requesting a fee...they should be paying you!
    • Do not provide your Social Security number or any other sensitive information unless you are confident that the employer requesting the information is legitimate. Social Security information should only be provided to your employer after you have been hired by a legitimate employer.
    • Avoid vague offers, as these are often scams. If the employer is not willing to specifically describe the position, you probably don't want it.
    In addition to the above, Talent Connect offers some additional tips for your protection:
    • Investigate thoroughly any employer requesting that you transfer or receive funds to your bank account. As these types of requests are indicators of check cashing scams!
    • Beware of employers who offer to interview you via an Instant Messenger service (i.e. Yahoo Messenger).
    • Beware of communications containing suspicious signs such as improper use of grammar.
    • Be cautious of exaggerated claims of potential earnings or employers who offer to pay in cash only.
    • Beware when money is required upfront for instructions or products.
    • Research the company to ensure it is a legitimate company. Contact the Better Business Bureau in order to do so.

    Links to Additional Information on Internet Scams and Fraud