A job posting on Western’s Career Central website was recently reported to be a scam by a student.
On March 7, it was brought to the attention of the Student Success Center (SSC) that a student had applied for a fraudulent job through Career Central.
Jeff Watson, associate director of employer relations at SSC, said once the student was offered the job but declined it, the fraudulent employer continued to send her emails asking for an address.
Watson explained that this is not an unusual situation, as many different institutions are dealing with this type of fraud.
Campus Police constable Jean-Claude Aubin said Western has experienced numerous fraud attempts in the last seven years.
"Fraud is a fairly common occurrence throughout Canada," he said. “This is definitely not the first, and I don’t think it will be the last attempt.”
Similar issues have occurred a few times on Western’s Career Central as an attempt to defraud personal information from students and take money.
Last year from May 2015 to April 2016, nine out of 5,288 job postings on Career Central were reported as fraudulent. This year since May 2016, ten out of 5,500 were reported.
“In order for a posting to go live on our site it has to be authorized by us, and we go through a rigorous checks and balances process to ensure incidents like these don’t happen,” Watson said. “Are we perfect? Not quite.”
For a company to add a job posting to Career Central, they must build an account and add in website and contact information. The SSC then verifies the email and website to ensure legitimacy.
Watson mentioned if the employees vetting have any doubts, the posting is approached in two ways — either the account will not be approved or the employer of the posting will be called to further verify.
He said that this specific posting was missed by one of the staff at SSC and it has been dealt with through performance management.
While this specific incident was not brought forth to Campus Police, Aubin recognized this to be an issue for students applying for jobs through Career Central.
Watson and Aubin emphasize that if someone has been in communication with a fraudulent employer, it is best to contact both the police and the University so they can take the necessary steps to minimize loss for the student.
Aubin said when such incidences are reported to Campus Police, information is gathered from the complainant including any evidence available, and then a report is completed and sent to the London Police fraud unit for investigation.
If the job “looks too good to be true, do not respond to it and contact the University right away to confirm if its legitimate,” says Aubin.