After an article appeared in “Inside Higher Ed” about fraudulent internships and jobs appearing on Handshake and a loophole that allowed people to create fake postings on Handshake, Emporia State’s Career Services department has been taking steps to prevent this don ESU’s campus.

Previous incidents indicate that colleges could have difficulty screening for scams, according to the article. Handshake is a platform all ESU students have access to where they can apply for more than 1,000 jobs, internships and fellowships.

“No system is fail safe,” said Robyn Macgregor, career counselor. “It doesn’t matter what you use, whether it’s the newspaper, or Handshake or Simplicity, all of them. It’s a combination of what schools can report, what schools do on their own due diligence and what students do to keep everybody safe.”

Currently no ESU student has reported fraudulent activity on Handshake to career services, according to Macgregor. However, Career Services will still be updating their website with information on how to avoid scam internships and how to protect yourself during the job search process to prevent fraudulent activity.

The department also already has a screening system in place, which they will continue to use. “When someone new tries to join us, there’s two ways that can happen,” Macgregor said.

“They can create a Handshake account and then they reach out to us. If we allow them to, they could join us without our permission. But we don’t do that.” The employees at Career Services check for specific things before the organization is approved. “They look to see whether or not they’re using an email domain that matches the company they are,” Macgregor said. “We have some local people who...use a private email account for their business, but they’re local and we know who they are. Otherwise we wouldn’t let them do that. That would be one of the flags.”

Career Services will also be employing Handshake’s trust score mechanism to help locate scams. Organizations with trust scores lower than 66 percent will not be accepted. Trust scores are automatically calculated by Handshake on a scale of 0-100, according to the Handshake blog. 

“Different schools and different people can report when people have done something kind of squirrely and that will be a red flag,” Macgregor said. “If there haven’t been a lot of schools that (have) allowed them to join, that lowers their trust score. If they haven’t posted a lot of jobs, that lowers their trust score.”

Students who have questions about their safety or who are concerned about the validity of a job or internship posting should contact Career Services and talk to a career counselor, according to the website.

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