Next time you get an email that seems to be from Morgan Stanley offering you a job in the bank's flying fixed income division, you might want to pause. You might especially want to pause if you're subsequently invited to an interview with a purported Morgan Stanley recruiter in Google Hangouts. Morgan Stanley does not use video chat rooms like Google Hangouts to conduct its interviews. - You are being scammed.
The U.S. bank has become the latest financial services firm to caution aspiring employees against scammers offering jobs that appear "too good to be true" and extracting upfront payments for things like "starter kits" and preliminary training.
Morgan Stanley's warning follows similar notices by hedge funds. Both Point72 and BlueBay Asset Management have warned candidates against scammers offering fake jobs and requestings payments for things like work permits and and system access before roles can be secured.
At Morgan Stanley, the scammers have gone one step further. The bank says they have actually been interviewing hapless students in Google Hangouts and sending them fake offer letters alongside their pitches for payment.
Like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley uses Hirevue's digital interviewing system to screen potential graduate recruits. However, this is very different to a live interview with a human being in an online chat room. - If you're invited to one of these with Morgan Stanley, the interviewer is a fake.
Morgan Stanley only accepts 2% of applicants to its summer analyst programs. 90,000 people applied two years ago, so the scammers have a rich seam of disappointed candidates to mine.
If you receive an offer, Morgan Stanley suggests various other ways of identifying whether it's real or not. For example, is the recruiter contacting you from a valid Morgan Stanley email address ending in MorganStanley.com? Are you being asked for your social security number, national insurance number, date of birth, bank account information at the application stage (Morgan Stanley won't do this)? Morgan Stanley will also never extend an offer without an interview.
If you have any doubts about the validity of your offer, you should email the bank at email@example.com (if you're in Europe), firstname.lastname@example.org (if you're in the U.S.) and email@example.com (if you're in Asia).
Photo credit: Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 10.54.21by Andrzej Szymański is licensed under CC BY 2.0.