Protecting Your Personal Information
Job Board Disclaimer
For international students: You must have work authorization before engaging in off-campus employment. To read more about employment options, please visit International Student Services at Berklee.
For all website users: The presence of a job, internship, or other opportunity on this website, or any other website, does not indicate an endorsement or recommendation for the organization or employer. Berklee is not responsible for safety, wages, working conditions, or any other aspect of off-campus private employment. All hiring, scheduling, and compensation are handled directly between the student and the employer. Students should take responsibility for all necessary precautions and use common sense when researching the integrity of the organization or individual, interviewing for or accepting any position, or supplying personal information. Do not disclose social security numbers, credit card information, bank account numbers, date of birth, copies of IDs, and so on to unknown or suspect employers. Students should use extreme caution if they are asked to invest any of their own money in an employment opportunity and are advised to interview only in public places. Feel free to contact a Berklee Career Center advisor for further discussion of questionable opportunities. Read more about protecting your personal information.
Fraudulent Job Postings
The Berklee Career Center posts internship, gig, and job listings on the Berklee Career Manager for the convenience of students and as a resource for employers interested in recruiting Berklee talent. The Career Center does not endorse or recommend any employer or position posted. Furthermore, the Career Center follows national best practice standards agreed upon by other U.S. colleges and universities for reviewing and advertising opportunities.
To keep fraudulent and scam postings off the Career Manager, employer profiles and postings are reviewed by a trained team of students, recents graduates, and staff members in the Career Center. Reviews ensure, to the best of our ability, that employer profiles and postings adhere to established Berklee recruiting policies and guidelines for employers.
Despite continuous efforts, it is impossible to ensure that every job posting is legitimate and difficult to keep track of every employer and position after submission due to the weekly volume of postings submitted. The Career Center explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about job listings or the accuracy of the information provided by the employer. It is the responsibility of students to perform due diligence in researching employers when applying for or accepting any type of off-campus employment. Students should be prudent and use common sense and caution when applying for or accepting any position.
Red Flags: How to Identify a Potentially Fraudulent Posting
- You must provide your credit card, bank account, PayPal, or other personal financial information. Legitimate jobs will not ask for this kind of information on an application, by phone, or by email.
- You are asked to forward payments by wire, courier, bank transfer, check, PayPal, and so on. Never forward payments; they just want to access your bank account and money.
- The position requires an initial investment, such as having to purchase equipment or products in order to earn a wage or having to pay for necessary training. Legitimate jobs never ask for an initial investment. Some network marketing companies may ask you to pay a fee (or “pay a deposit”) to obtain their sample product for demonstration. In essence, they are still asking for money so you can have a job.
- You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account (often depositing checks or transferring money), or you receive an unexpectedly large check. Legitimate employers do not need to use your bank account. Also, these checks typically bounce, and you are then held responsible for all the bank charges and any money used, wired, or processed.
- The contact email address contains a non-business email domain or a personal email address. Sometimes the posting may even appear to be from a reputable, familiar company, but the email address does not match the domain used by representatives of the company. Legitimate recruiters are directly associated with the company for whom they work. Therefore, the email addresses used should match the company’s domain. The email should always come from an official email address that reflects the organization’s domain or a subsidiary of the organization.
- The employer responds to you immediately after you submit your application. (This does not include an auto-response you may receive from the employer stating receipt of your application.) Legitimate employers take time to sort through applications to find the best candidates. Fraudulent jobs are just looking for personal information, not your skills, which is why they respond immediately. They are hoping an immediate response makes you feel special, a trick used to get you to share personal information.
- The company website is not active, does not exist, or reroutes users to another website unaffiliated with the company. If the listed website is not working, does not exist, or the URL goes to another unassociated website, then the employment opportunity is most likely not real.
- The company website is not detailed and only contains information about the job in which you are interested. Legitimate organizations and companies use their websites to attract clients and customers, not just potential employers. Check the URL: is it a real company website? Scammers often create quick, basic webpages that seem legitimate at first glance.
- The position states you will be working from home, need access to a personal computer, and so on. Most formal jobs will have an office as your base. “Working from home” is often a convenience hook that takes advantage of people who want an easy job situation. In addition, working from home forces you to use your personal resources. However, working from home may be legitimate, so carefully research these jobs.
- The posting includes many spelling and grammatical errors. Poor spelling and grammar suggests the job announcement was written by a non-professional, and therefore the job is probably not legitimate.
Think It's a Scam? Report It
Tell the Career Center so we can review the position/employer. You can contact the Career Center via phone at 617-747-2826 or email CareerCenter@berklee.edu.
You may contact Berklee Public Safety/local police if money has been transferred.
If you did transfer bank information, contact your bank and lock your accounts.
File an incident report with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
Keep Your Information Secure
- Personal information can be provided at or after the gig; you do not need to provide it in advance. An advance deposit can also be made without tax information. Tax information can be added after a deposit has been issued.
- You do not need to fill out a W-9 form if you will be paid less than $600 from the employer in any calendar year. You will still report the income on your taxes, but you do not need to fill out a W-9.
- If you are paid $600 or more by an employer in any calendar year, you will fill out a W-9 for the employer, but you do not need to do so in advance. Wait until the first day of work or until the work has been completed. Tax forms do not need to be filed until the end of the year.
- You do not need to provide personal information on an application for employment until you have a written agreement or contract in place. A company cannot conduct a background check prior to making a job offer unless they have your consent. You should not consent until adequate interviewing and company research have been conducted.
Best Practices to Keep Your Information Secure:
- It is best to provide personal information in person.
- If transmitting personal information over the phone, always call the person/company yourself; don’t disclose information to someone who has called you and may be posing as an official agent.
- If transmitting personal information online, make sure the site is secure. The URL should start with https://.
- Do not transmit personal information over email (this is not secure).
- When in doubt, ask someone you know and trust for help (Berklee Career Center, a Berklee personal counselor, etc.).
If You Have Been the Victim of Fraud or Identity Theft:
- Put a fraud alert on your credit reports.
- Contact any institution affected.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- File a police report.
- Contact the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- Credit monitoring services may be available for Berklee staff, faculty, or student victims. To file a claim, contact Travelers Insurance at 1-800-842-8496 (select option No. 2).
For more information about the following topics, please go to: