Monday, 9 November 2009

Scam, Scram!

Nothing gets me more fired up than people and companies who take advantage of others who are already suffering. With an ever-climbing unemployment rate, and no end in sight, the U.S. is bursting at the seams with job seekers. One article on illustrated that the chances of landing a job right now are neck and neck with getting accepted into Harvard. Hmm...perhaps I should go Ivy League? Annnyyywwwayyyyyyy, even at our most miserable state of unemployment, scouring the ads day in and day out, resume tweaking, bugging contacts, showing up on doorsteps, filling out applications, etc., we are unfortunately being targeted by scammers all over the world.
Perhaps applying online to jobs, you've received an email such as this:

"He l lo So la ng e,

T h a n k yo u for your interest in the p os it i o n a t o ur firm.

A little mo r e in fo rm at i o n a bo ut us:

A s a re ce nt ly founded an d r a pi d l y g r o w i ng marketing fi r m,
we ho pe to fo s te r a fun y et efficient en v ir o nm e nt fo r our new
e mp l o y e e s. U n l ik e ot h er companies, we be li e v e an ea s yg oi ng
and fr ie n d ly at mo sp h er e is fa ci li t at iv e to q u a l i ty an d actually
in c re a se s productivity.

To be co ns i d e re d, c a nd id a te s mu st possess strong
c o m m u ni c at i on/interpersonal skills, th e ab il it y t o i n te r a ct wi th
p e o p l e a t all le v e ls of th e firm, an d ex c e ll e nt or g a n iz a t io n al skills.

C an di da te s mu s t be se lf st a r te rs an d b e a bl e to undertake
re s p on s i b i l it ie s with limited supervision. They must also be ab le to
multi-task, an d have a wo r ki n g kn ow le d g e of MS Office.
Fa m i li a ri ty wi t h o t he r types of software is a pl u s.

Our policy is to gr ow an d maintain a l o n g lasting and m ut u al l y
be n ef i ci al bu s in e s s re l a ti on sh i p w it h our em pl oy ee s. In keeping
w i th th at st an d a rd, ou r firm offers a c o m pr eh en s i v e b e ne f i t s
p a ck ag e that is s ec o n d t o none. In addition, we pa y o u r
e mp l oy e e s hi gh e r t ha n any c o mp e ti to r i n th is in du st r y.

Co m p en s a t i on wi l l be f u rt h er di sc us se d du ri n g t h e in te r v ie w
pr o ce ss, af te r r e vi ew in g ca nd i da t e ap p li ca t io n s.

Pl ea se ta k e a fe w mo m en ts to fi ll ou t ou r o nl in e ap p li ca ti o n b y
cl i c k in g on t h e 'apply' link be lo w.


Th an k you,

H R S t a ff in g
E m p lo ye e Re cr ui t Portal"

Thankfully, I'm onto them, weird font and all. This supposed HR Staffing firm directs people to a legit-looking page, where unsuspecting, diligent job seekers plug in all of their personal information. BINGO BANGO, PHISHING SCAM! Hook, line, and sinker, and there you go. Whether they sell your information to companies or use it for other malicious deeds, I'm not sure, but, whatever the reason, it's not benign.
It's a shame that we have to, on top of working our fingers to nubs typing out cover letters, be watchful of these types of things, but this is the age in which we live. To other job seekers, use common sense. If, after placing an ad asking for emailed resumes, a potential employer asks you to visit a website, be suspicious. First, look up the company online via Google or another search engine. Next, look up the name of the person who contacted you in conjunction with the company, such as "'Fred Smith' 'HR Recruitment Portal'." Usually, that person's name will come up either via Linked In or a company directory. If it's a scam and someone has reported it online, it might come up as such as well. Also, if that person's email is a free email account, such as gmail, hotmail, or yahoo, and not a company email, it may well be a red flag.
Most of the time, if someone has your resume, there is no need for you to fill out more information on yourself. If it's a legitimate company, such as Time Warner, which has a huge HR department, you may have to sign up to its online job search site, but never EVER do so from a link. Type the website in directly to ensure that you are going to the proper company site.
Last, but not least, check out sites like Ripoff Report and Snopes to see whether other people have been scammed via similar means. Scams are rampant these days. Keep your eyes open and your nose sharp, folks! Good luck and happy hunting!

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