Phishers target new grads

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RENO, Nev - (KOLO) New graduates eager to join the work force are prime targets for scammers looking to steal their personal information. It's a new evolution of an old email phishing scam. This time crooks are focusing on university email addresses, sending fake employment offers to collect applicant's personal information. Local employment advisers say trust your gut; it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

The Nevada Career Studio at UNR helps students find their dream jobs. Assistant Director Mary T. Calhoon says the best place to start looking is in your own network. "Let them know that you're searching and be genuinely curious about what's out there," she advises.
She also recommends researching companies you're excited to work for. Keeping your search focused to a handful of potential employers will allow you to give them more of your energy and attention, resulting in a better impression.

Casting too wide a net could also make you more vulnerable to a phishing scams. New graduates in Connecticut told the better business bureau their college email accounts were targeted by scammers offering jobs without even requiring a face-to-face interview. Calhoon says, so far, they haven't seen the problem in our area.. Still, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

"If in the application process, the employer starts asking for a lot of unnecessary personal information or identifying personal information you need to take a closer look," says Calhoon. If an employer asks for payment to process your paperwork that could also be a red flag. She says most legitimate employers will not ask you put down your own money or purchase equipment up front. If you are contacted by email, Calhoon advises checking to make sure the sender's address matches the company's web domain.

The Nevada Career Studio is only open to students. Calhoon advises other job seekers to stick with trusted sites and agencies to weed out suspect job postings. We've listed a few Reno area resources for you here.