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Podcast: HR Stew

Too Smart to be Scammed?
Think Again...

By: Harrison Parham
Marketing Specialist 

Most may assume the generation raised in the digital age may be the most equipped to spot internet scams. This is incorrect. Teens and young adults are becoming victims of internet scams at a faster rate than any other age group. In 2017 there were 9,000 reports of digital scams from those 21 or younger. That number grew 156% to 23,000 in 2020, which equals $70 Million in losses.

Those who are not educated on e-scams, have no more of an advantage based on age, gender, or any other factor. When it is the full-time job of a con artist to scam people, they become better at conning than most can imagine.



$4.2 Billion

In 2020, $4.2B was the cost of online scams in the US. This is just the quantifiable cost. Scams such as Phishing, which target your data, cost you more than money. When attacked you risk your customers, employees, and your sensitive data.


The ability to recognize the signs of scams is a start to mitigating risks.

1. Unfamiliar Wordings, Sign Offs, File Types, or Signatures.

Attacks will often pose as trusted sources like managers, coworkers, or other contacts. We all know not to trust an email from a Nigerian Prince, but we do trust our bosses.

Here is a particular example from my inbox. Read the email and answer the question before continuing.

Tip 1: Keep an eye out for an incorrect email domain, abnormal signatures, and poor writing style.

Tip 2: If there is a file attached, do not open the file if you notice any of these signs. File types such as .HTML are a deceptive way to install malware from an email attachment.

Tip 3: Take note of common scams in your industry/demographic and Inform your co-workers.

Unfam Example 1.png

This email claims to be from Regina Dyerly, COO at Vida HR. She may sometimes send me a brief email with no signature, but I can identify that she never sends me emails from “” I also know that we use other means to chat, such as IMs, texts, or phone calls when it comes to something urgent. By identifying these issues, I can figure that this may be a targeted scam.

Or can I? When I received this email, it was on my 3rd day of working with Regina. So, I replied…

MISTAKE! Now the scammer knows that my brand new email is active. They now know my title, and email signature format and can use it in the future. 

2. Look For a Sense of Urgency

Posing as either a financial institution, government, client, or superior at work, scams will attempt to instill a sense of urgency. A sense of urgency can prevent someone from thinking through their actions. You will click that link, open that attachment, or give that information they are asking for.

The texts I receive once a week that look like this are a great example  (See Example).

Most online accounts have a ton of card information and other sensitive data. The text prompts the recipient to click the link to fix the problem.

If I follow the link, it will likely take me to a sign-in page. This should ALWAYS be a red flag. If you receive an email with a link that prompts you to log in, stop what you are doing.

Tip 1: Use a search engine to go straight to the site in question or call the person or company the scam may be posing as. Check for the alert from the direct site, and not the received link.

Tip 2: When it comes to shared files do not log in to view the file if prompted. Contact the person through other means to verify the link they sent you if you believe it to be real. Microsoft and Google save your login information, and will not ask for a login to view shared files.


From: amazo-noreply.987234598....

Security Alert We have to suspend your Αmazοn accοunt limited due to login activity.

New attempt login from :
[ - Ireland ]

Our system has limit your account for security reasons. To restore Αmazοn account, please verify with link below:


You need to take action within 24 hours before account will be suspended . 


Amazοn Teams


While some of these examples may seem obvious, there are many scams that are not. In 2022, there have been reports of scammers:

  • Posing a Multi-Factor Authentication for Credible Companies.

  • Purchasing more convincing email domains such as “”

  • Finding intuitive ways to bypass Microsoft spam filters.


Even with the smartest scams, by verifying an alert is real from another source, you can avoid the headache of a data breach. Being consistent about learning the tactics of scams can keep you and your company safe.



Too Smart To Be Scammed? Think Again...
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We look forward to offering this training to those who missed it! Be on the lookout for a virtual session, coming soon!

Vida HR Training & Development: Thank You

By: Debra Fowler, SHRM-CP
Training & Compliance Manager

Onboarding new employees is one of the most important parts of the employment experience, both for employers and employees.  When a new employee is prepared properly for employment with your organization, it greatly reduces the amount of turnover, and gets them off to the right start to perform their job effectively.


For the employer side, the onboarding process generates paperwork that creates the foundation of the employment record and allows for the opportunity to start the employee off right with their perception of the employer brand.


Various HR experts have broken the onboarding process into different parts:

  • According to the Society for Human Resources Management, there are four C’s that make up a successful onboarding process: 

    • Compliance

    • Clarification

    • Culture

    • Connection

  • Another source breaks the process into three parts: Operational, Social, and Strategic.

No matter the way you break down the process, all portions of onboarding are important.  In the information below, we are looking at the Operational or Compliance portion of the process.



One way to enhance the employee experience during onboarding is to streamline the new hire paperwork by utilizing an HRIS system to automate the process.  This helps to ensure a compliant and consistent process for all employees.


The following is a list of forms that are both required and best practice for new and re-hired employees to complete on or before their first day of employment.


The Form W-4 is the income tax withholding form required for all new employees by the IRS.  A new version is provided by the IRS every year, and the most current version is the one that must be used.  The Form W-4 must be completed on or before the employee’s first date of employment.  Employees have the option to change their withholding at any time and the employer’s obligation is to ensure the changes are updated on the next scheduled pay date.  In Colorado, employees who wish to have different withholdings for Federal and state, should complete the Colorado DR 0004.  The Colorado DR 0004 is an optional Colorado state specific tax withholding form that must be filled out if the employee wishes their withholding to be different from their federal withholding.  If an employee wants their withholding to be the same for both Federal and state, they only need to complete the Federal W-4 form. Some states have their own specific tax withholding forms, similar to Colorado’s DR 0004, that must be completed in addition to the Federal Form W-4.  There are also states without state income tax; in that instance only the federal W-4 needs to be completed for the employee.


Another form that must be completed on or before the employee’s hire date is the Form I-9.  The Form I-9 is a required form from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees.


Employers who offer direct deposit should have an enrollment form to document the employee’s voluntary enrollment in the program.  In Colorado, employers are not allowed to require direct deposit enrollment, which means employers have to give an option for paper checks.  Many other states have similar laws that do not allow mandatory direct deposit enrollment, so be sure to research your state specific requirements.


Best practice is to have an updated job description prior to posting any job, and to have any new employee review and sign an acknowledgement of the essential functions, knowledge, skills, abilities, minimum qualifications, and physical requirements.  In Colorado the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act requires that all positions have a job description that is signed and kept on file for the employee’s duration of employment, and an additional two (2) years following the employee’s separation from employment.


Your Employee Handbook provides the employee with an overview of your company-specific policies and practices, communicates legally required policies to employees, and helps to establish parameters surrounding the employment relationship.  The Employee Handbook acknowledgement is an important new hire document that shows the employee has been provided with a copy of the Handbook and has acknowledged not only receipt of it, but also agrees to comply with Company policies and procedures.


Some states have additional employment law postings other than the standard Labor Law postings that must be provided to employees – some at the start of employment.  Colorado requires the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) #38 and Paid Leave and Whistleblower posters be provided to all employees at time of hire and whenever they update, usually annually.  Including these state-specific posters in your Handbook and obtaining a signed acknowledgement can help show compliance with these requirements. For remote workers, providing federal and state Labor Law Posters at the time of hire in an easily accessible format, and ensuring they are available 24/7 for employee review helps employers stay compliant with posting requirements.


Many Workers’ Compensation Insurance providers require a Designated Medical Provider Notice be provided to all employees, and best practice is to provide the notice both at time of hire and at the time of injury.


For employers with 50 or more employees, an additional new hire form that must be provided to employees is the Marketplace Exchange Notice. This notice details the Marketplace healthcare options for employees and the benefits offered by the employer in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) Small businesses with fewer than 50 FTE employees are not required to provide this notice.

Once a new employee has completed all of the above forms, and any company specific paperwork that may also be required, the employer must also be sure to comply with any state-specific new hire reporting.  Colorado requires that all employers report the new hires they have to the state within 20 calendar days of the start date of employment. 


An additional employment authorization verification process can also be completed through E-Verify, which uses the information from the Form I-9 to electronically compare the information to records available to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) and verify an employee’s work authorization.  E-Verify is optional in Colorado, but in some states, is a requirement of either public or private employers, and sometimes for both.


Completing new hire paperwork may not be the most exciting part of the employee onboarding process, but it helps to gather important information about your new employee and keeps your organization compliant with state and federal requirements.

Onboarding: Building a Strong Foundation

Hello, I’m Sean!

I joined Vida HR in January 2022 as an Employee Onboarding Specialist. I graduated from Oklahoma State University back in December 2020 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. After that, I started slowly getting introduced to the world of HR! My PI profile is Guardian, which means I am highly detail-oriented and prefer to work with clear standards and rules.

A little about me:

I’ve lived in Colorado for most of my life, so I consider myself a Coloradan despite not being born here. When the summer rolls around, I enjoy hiking with my family, but I’m more of an indoors person. I love watching movies, reading, and writing- if it’s considered nerdy, I probably have some interest or adjacent knowledge of it.

Employee Highlight: Sean
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