Scams, Scams Everywhere!
As you begin to embark on your journey for finding that right or next job, beware of what you allow people to see when you post to jobsites.
As I am looking for that PERFECT position, I utilize a number of available and diverse websites to help me find the right position. Among them are CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired.com, Indeed.com, PRJobInsider.com and ChristianJobs.com — even CraigsList.com (as well as many others). However, what amazed me is that the one I received the bogus offer from was ChristianJobs.com.
Now, as we all have experienced, there will be jobs that are outdated and no one has taken them down, the details are sparse or so overblown you are hesitant to apply. Being diligent and persistent, I am working my way through available listings, no stone unturned looking for that gem in the piles of “results” these sites can send you.
Out of the blue comes this email:
First hint this is not a real job…. the spacing within the email itself.
Second clue, the return address — firstname.lastname@example.org – if it oesn’t have company as the domain, more than likely not a true job
Third, a Yahoo chat? Seriously? However leaving no stone unturned, I go and set up my Yahoo chat like a good girl and begin the conversation with said Monica Schmitt.
I am Mrs Monica Schmitt. I received my B.A. in French from Louisiana State University in Eunice, LA just west of New Orleans. I also studied accounting at the University of New Orleans. I have been with the United Healthcare for three years now. I work for an accounting team and I am here to briefly interview you about the opening position.Are you ready for the job briefing and interview ?
We begin and all sounds wonderful including:
This position is currently only available online as a work-from-home job. This means that everything is being taken care of online from a remote access point. Eventually, you will be able to choose whether or not you want to continue working from home or work in the office. Working hours are flexible and when working from home, you have the benefit of choosing where you want to do your work. For example, one may choose to work using a wireless internet connection right on the beach! The pay rate is $30 per hour and training is $20 per hour. Our employees are paid every Friday via direct deposit or pay check. Working part-time is a minimum of 20 hours per week and full-time is a minimum of 40 hours weekly. Also note that we offer both full time and part time position with the same benefits. The job includes benefits such as health, dental, life, and AD&D insurance, employee wellness and 401k plans. All holidays are paid and employees enjoy generous company discounts. Business hours are between 8am to 4pm CST however the working hours are flexible and you can choose hours that will work best for you. All activities and correspondence time are to be recorded in the Excel spreadsheet that will be coming along with your working materials.
Then the conversation continues…
The company will provide you with an HP laptop with a fast and reliable internet connection. Your W-4 form will be arriving shortly with the other working materials you need to start earning money with our company. You will be required to purchase the software you will be working with and the company will have you reimbursed for your order. You will need to place an order with a certified vendor and trusted third-party company who will then have the programs installed free of charge on your company laptop. It will be sent to you via overnight shipping from FedEx.
I have to buy the software?
At this point, I decided to do a little more digging. I had originally asked Ms. Schmitt if she had a United Healthcare email address and she said yes, but did not provide. I went to the website and had an online chat with Keith S, who is a verified recruiter with United Healthcare. I sent him all the information…
Keith S: I don’t know that she isn’t a recruiter with us – i just don’t know that she is…
Angeli C: I think by her asking me to pay for software in return for a free laptop is a clue 🙂
Keith S: you got it 🙂
I began sending the whole conversation to Keith who was forwarding to his manager. In the meantime, Monica was so excited for me to be part of the team until…..
I let her know I was online with a UHC recruiter and the conversation ended immediately – h not surprising.
Moral of the story….
Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to question what is going on
Don’t be desperate – Jobs come and jobs go, know what you are getting yourself into
NEVER give anyone money or personal information online for a job you are applying to
Stay on your toes.
As stated by Equifax in 2009:
Identity Thieves Target Job Seekers: How to Stay Safe
In today’s economy, many people are looking for a new job or a second job to help supplement their income. Thanks to online job posting sites, it’s never been easier to surf the Web for your next career. Unfortunately, this convenience has also led to a slew of scams that take advantage of job seekers by stealing sensitive personal information — the first step of identity theft. The prevalence of fake job ads has increased in recent years. While a number of these scams are quite elaborate and can often times look legitimate, there are ways to tell real job opportunities from tricky identity theft tactics.
Whether it’s under the guise of a background check or a work-at-home opportunity, when it comes to online job searching, there are many potential identity theft scams. Usually, however, they tend to share certain aspects in common that can serve as a red flag. Read more at http://www.equifax.com/newsletter_archive/jul2009/
Some more helpful information:
How To Avoid Identity Theft While Job Searching by Alison Doyle http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchprivacy/a/indentitytheft.htm
Your Resume: Protect Your Identity While Applying for Work by Jenny Treanor http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchprivacy/a/indentitytheft.htm
How To Protect Your Identity While Working from Home by John LeBlanc http://jobsearch.about.com/od/jobsearchprivacy/a/indentitytheft.htm
All in all, it was a little detour and giggle for the day and helped me to start blogging again – Woo Hoo!!
By the way, if you have a similar story – please feel free to share! Information is power!