Handshake Help Center

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Handshake is the premium platform for Gauchos to find jobs, internships, and career connections. Ranging from part-time to full-time positions, on-campus and off-campus, Handshake is a gateway to gainful employment in the world of work. Many postings are viewable exclusively to students/alumni of UCSB, providing an edge to engage with employers. Handshake also offers approved Work-Study positions, a database of thousands of employers, and much more.

Don't Get Scammed

Familiarizing Yourself With Scams

Though Handshake is a trusted recruitment platform, job search scams can occur, as with any other online platform. If a position or job offer seems too good to be true, you feel uncomfortable with some of the requested information, or something does not seem right, either back away or proceed with extreme caution.

When applying to any position and before giving any personal information, it is always best to research an employer thoroughly by reviewing their website, Googling the employer's name followed by "fraud," "scam," and "complaints," and searching for recent news articles that may pertain to them.


Check and Money Order Scams

The underlying premise of this scam is based on the victim receiving a counterfeit check or money order, depositing the item in their own bank account, and, to "demonstrate their ability to follow instructions correctly and quickly," the victim is asked to forward a portion of the funds through a wire transfer service (Moneygram or Western Union) to the next person (the scammer). Later, when the counterfeit check bounces, the victim realizes that the money they have forwarded was their own money, which is now lost from their account.

No legitimate job or company will EVER ask you to send money to them.


Learn More

You can read more about this frequent scam on the Federal Trade Commission's Fake Check Scams page.


Scams from "UCSB" Addresses

Every year, a scam comes from a hacked UCSB staff email address or someone who claims to be a UCSB staff member. The offer is generally incredible, offering a large pay and easy work, and because it comes from a UCSB department, students tend to believe the job posting. Because these are generic scam emails, you can easily find discrepancies. The faculty/staff email ends in @gmail.com instead of @ucsb.edu; there is a reference to a department, but the name is slightly wrong such as "The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for The University of California"; or you can't find the staff's title anywhere, such as "Dean of College Business." Always check by calling the department first. Do not use any number in the email; look up the department number yourself. Phone numbers in scam emails either do not connect or are part of the scam.


Job Search Safety Tips

Here are some common red flags that may indicate you have encountered a job scam:

  • You are hired without ever interviewing or meeting your potential employer.
  • There are multiple misspellings in the job description and correspondence with the employer.
  • At the time of hire, the employer tells you they are traveling internationally and need you to be their assistant and run errands for them.
  • You are asked to give your credit card, bank, or PayPal account numbers.
  • You are asked to send a payment by wire service or courier or transfer money.
  • You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account--often depositing checks or transferring money.
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check, are promised a considerable salary for very little work, or are offered an extremely high salary compared to similar positions.
  • You are asked for personal information, such as your social security number, or asked to complete a background check before being considered for the position.
  • You are requested to send a photocopy of your ID (e.g., driver's license) to "verify identity."
  • The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact's email address does not match the company's website domain (e.g., jdoe@gmail.com rather than jdoe@companyname.com).
  • The job posting doesn't match the job's responsibilities; instead, it focuses on how much money you will make.
  • The position requires upfront fees.


What to Do About Suspicious Postings

If you encounter suspicious postings in Handshake, think you may have experienced a check scam, or receive a phishing email that contains a job offer for a position to which you have not applied, it is essential to take action.

Here are your next steps to take action:

  1. Report your experience to Career Services at careerhelp@sa.ucsb.edu or (805) 893-4412 and The Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  2. End all communication with the employer, and if personal information was disclosed, monitor your accounts.
  3. Contact the police and report the fraud or scam.
  4. If you have sent money to a fraudulent employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close your account and dispute the charges.
  5. If you received a phishing email to your UCSB email address, report this to the UCSB Information Security Office.
  6. If the incident occurred over the internet, file an incident report with the FCC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or with the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Handshake Disclaimer: Job postings and employer announcements are made without endorsement, direct or implied, by Career Services or UCSB. Career Services educates students about various opportunities and ensures equity of access to campus recruiting activities for all employers who abide by our Recruiting Policies. Individual students are encouraged to determine which employers align with their diverse talents, values, and interests. See more information to review our Department Policies and Don't Get Scammed.

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