Part 1 of 3 – Economic downturn is a boon for online employment scams

Catherine Findley was desperate to find a new job after graduating from college, so when she found a website that promised to find her a job in her field of human resources for $500.00, she quickly handed over the money and waited for the offers to come pouring in. Within two days, her inbox was filled with job descriptions, none for the positions she had discussed with the consultant at the firm.

“They promised a job in human resource, but I all got was sales and work from home type roles,” said Catherine. When she called the company to complain, she was stonewalled and they refused to provide a refund or an explanation.

Catherine’s story is fast becoming a familiar one to Surcorp Resume Solutions Career Consultants and Resume Writers. Faced with an unprecedented economic downturn, which has resulted in record high job losses across all sectors, many Canadian and U.S job seekers are eager to find employment and are flooding online job boards. Sadly, unscrupulous companies are just as eager to prey on them with bogus employment offers. Some of these organizations operate through legitimate online job boards and classifieds websites where they post great sounding job vacancies with high salaries and benefits. In turn, they ask job seekers for upfront monies and personal details to arrange an interview or to offer the position.  We consistently advise our clients that legitimate companies and recruitment firms do not charge potential candidates any fees for a job interview or for a job offer.

For many job seekers, online resources are a critical component of their job search. However, it is imperative that they demonstrate caution in the provision of private data to anyone online, regardless of how irresistible the proposed job opportunity appears. With the plethora of online job boards, career sites, job searching databases and professional networking sites, job seekers are constantly asked to provide personal data when registering to open new accounts. As such many are encountering problems in ensuring their privacy.

Due to increased complaints and concerns, many jobs sites have made a concerted effort to increase their security in screening out unethical and fraudulent job postings. Unfortunately, many job boards, both large and small, do not have failsafe solutions to protect your privacy and adequately safeguard your personal information. Job seekers must be diligent when reviewing job advertisements and dealing with recruiting firms especially when asked to provide monies or personal data in exchange for a job.

Read part 2 on February 15th.

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