Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Scammin' Scumbags

Word to the wise: If it seems fishy, it probably is.  In today’s job forums there are thousands of jobs posted every day.  Even though many of the current jobsites try to monitor scams and frauds, there are bound to be some that have slipped through the cracks.  If you have come to the point where you are willing to apply for anything, it’s time to put your scamomoniter and fraudar to the test.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, chances are I made those words up about ten seconds ago.  Anyway, here are a couple tools to get you informed before jumping head first into a lion pit.

Research the Company:

I know this seems obvious, but before you press your clothes and go to take on the world, you might want to look into the company you are interviewing for.  Say you are searching for jobs on Craigslist. This site allows prospective employers to remain anonymous, which can be a breeding ground for scammers.  If you get the call for an interview of simply have to call to schedule on yourself, make sure to ask for the company’s name.  From here you can Google search the company.  For me, if the company’s name isn’t the first search finding, that’s red flag number one.  In this day in age, if a company doesn’t have a website, something isn’t quite squared away.  If in fact the company does have a website, take the time to look into it a bit.  First, look to see if the photos are genuine images.  If they seem like stock images from some database, I’d say that is another red flag.  Most legitimate companies are going to put a lot of work into their site, because a good chunk of business is going to come from online content.  Also, if they have information about the company, do a little light reading.  If everything seems a bit vague as you read, there is probably a reason. 

Scam Report Websites:

Ok, now that you have done some investigating on your own and still aren’t convinced, it’s time to delve a little deeper.  Because the online job forums have exploded in the past few years, there have been sites launched with the sole purpose of exposing fraudulent or immoral companies.  Sites such as ripoffreport.com and scam.com are open forums for people who have experienced certain scam operations firsthand.  If you find that the company you are getting ready to interview for is on either of these sites, it’s time to abandon ship.

Better Business Bureau (BBB):

The Better Business Bureau is an organization that is in place to make sure businesses are operating with integrity and are not abusing consumers.  Any real business is always trying to better their status with the local BBB. Say you found a company hiring on Monster.com or Indeed.com.  If you head to the BBB website, you simply punch in the company’s name in the search engine, and boom, you have their BBB rating.  Here, you can also research any complaints or disputes that have happened.  Keep in mind that some companies are still young enough that they haven’t gone through the process of getting a rating from the Better Business Bureau, so don’t make your decisions based solely on this website.

Look for Warning Signs During the Interview:

If you have disregarded everything I have mentioned up to this point or couldn’t rummage up any dirt on your particular company, sounds like you have an interview to go to.  There are still a few things you should look for if you are skeptical at all.  First and foremost, never pay any money up front to start at a company.  The reasons why should be apparent.  No exceptions.  Secondly, if it seems as though the interviewer is selling you the company he or she works for, take that as a bad sign.  Interviews are meant to be a company’s opportunity to find out about you, not the other way around.  Lastly, if you discover that your income is based purely on commission, make sure you understand just how the commission will be paid out.  If you don’t like it, BAIL!!!!!!

We know you’re hungry… scratch that, starving for a job, any job. But, never sacrifice your morals for a pay check. Now go young Padawan.  Go forth into the job search with your new tools of deduction.   If you spot a scam, bail! If you are sitting in an interview and something stinks to high hell, BAIL!  Basically, if you don’t like what you’re hearing, bail bail bail!!!!  Do I like typing the word bail?  Maybe.  BAIL!

Written By: Adam E. Hascall

1 comment:

  1. I do have to be really thankful that I no longer must beat the pavement or my head against a wall to find work. In fact, I can't remember having scammers try to get me to work for them; well,I take that back, there was this door-to-door magazine sales job that seemed a little fishy. The interview was in a seedy hotel room in Omaha where there was some interesting graffiti on the walls of the elevator. Selling WORLD BOOK to ones friends seemed a little questionable to me also; plus there was the fact that I couldn't give away what others could sell at twice the price.

    Is pimping out of vogue now? However, I doubt you could afford the outfit if you can't even buy a decent chair.

    I will keep thinking.