1. Mordecai
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    Mordecai Member

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    Does anyone know about this?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Mordecai, Jul 20, 2009.

    I recently became unemployed and have been searching for a job like crazy. Jobs in NJ aren't easy to come across this time of year, especially in the area I live. I always wanted to write a story based on the false scams people put on these websites as "jobs". So what I'm basically asking here is if anyone here has any experience/knowledge that these are fake or if they are real. Sorry if this wastes anyones time I was just wondering what a secondhand view might look like, and if it dresses better than my own.
     
  2. Mojo88
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    Mojo88 New Member

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    While I don't have personal experience with online jobs, I remember hearing that 99% of them are scams. I think dateline or 20/20 did a story about it a while back. Don't auote me on that - I'd double check first.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what websites are you referring to?
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have had exposure to employment scams during my career - mostly involving cold calling, or mailing (electronic or paper) with job offers. These offers frequently look genuine, except of course, who gets a job without applying to one or interviewing for one?

    Tell-tale signs for fraud are spelling and grammar mistakes, non-corporate email addresses, requests for money to help process visas etc, phone numbers that do not connect, outlandish salary and benefits. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    If you are at all suspicious then do your homework, ring the company, not the number supplied on the correspondence, and ask to speak to the contact. Almost certainly the company in question (if it exists at all) will not know the individual - alarm bells should be ringing. A favourite trick is to pretend to be from an agency or company, and they do this by having agency and company names and email addresses that are very similar to real organisations. Be careful. Is the offer from the People's Bank of China, or is it from the Peoples Bank of China?

    Biggest alarm bell of all is asking for cash - other than malicious emails which are sent to consume bandwidth and cause general mayhem, the purpose of scams is to obtain cash, or personal ID which can be used to obtain cash. Reputable organisations do not ask for any money to help along the administration process at any point. If you have supplied personal details, such as name, DOB, passport number, driving licence details etc to an organisation you suspect is involved in fraud, or lose money in such a case, be sure to register the incident with the local authorities so as to try and help prevent ID theft in the future. Your details are now in circulation in the criminal world.

    Certain websites trawl the web looking for genuine job opportunities and copy their text verbatim onto their website - this is not illegal. These job adverts generate traffic through links and they sell advertising space on their sites to make a living. However, certain other, fraudulent websites, do the same thing, or make up opportunities and set up sophisticated application processes to glean personal details, and allow space for you to upload your CV, in which there may be even more details than you would be prepared to share normally. To try and avoid these sites, I would try to stick to well-known boards for your industry - as a professional, I'm sure you know which boards your profession uses, don't stray from them. Recruitment agencies and in-house recruiters target industry-specific boards and those proven to give results - in general, they will not be searching obscure ones. This is for their own safety.

    Depending on your research, you could mail some recruitment departments of some organisations stating you believe you have been involved in act of fraud and they will all have standard text which you will receive in response saying something along the lines of:

    You would only receive a job offer from X if you have recently sat an assessment with us. These offers will not be electronic due to wide-spread fraud. The paper-copy offer will be supported by a phone call from one of our representatives. X never asks for payment as part of the recruitment process for visas or admin charge.

    If you believe you are a victim of fraud please register the occurence with you local legal authority and forward us all correspondence so we can take appropriate action. Please cease contact with the suspect offer maker. ​

    Any more questions, let me know
     
  5. Mordecai
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    Mordecai Member

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    lol thanks Gannon. I kind of figured they were all scams really, I mean it's not like I was about to dive into a job working with one. But yeah thanks for the feedback, I've actually already started the scene in my novel that has something to do with this subject. Kind of off to a slow start but hey, what's the rush?
     
  6. ChaseRoberts
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    ChaseRoberts Senior Member

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    The biggest scam we've got going here (Scotland) at the moment is a particularly cruel and callous one. People looking for properties to rent go onto a website such as gumtree, and see a really good property. They'll then e-mail the 'owner' and the owner will claim to be out the country, but that they've got lots of interest and a deposit and first months rent must be paid to secure the property.

    They'll then ask you to wire the money via Western Union money transfer, and that, my friends, is when your money will disappear along with the mythical flat that never existed.

    Most people are canny enough not to fall for it.

    Last November I was looming up on my leaving date for my old flat and had completely and utterly failed to find a new flat. I was desperate. With a week to go, one of these scammers got their hooks into me, and it was only my boyfriend at the time pointing out that something was suss and sending me an online link to something about the scammers that put me in the light. Had it just been me, I would probably have done it and lost all my money, ending up completely homeless. (Or living with my boyfriend, which was something he was clearly desperate to avoid, hence being helpful with the househunting).

    Outraged, I forwarded all the e-mail correspondance to the online fraud squad at Tayside police. I've not heard back, but hopefully something good will have come from this.

    That's a point, actually, you should see if your local police force has an online fraud task force. They might be able to give you helpful advice and stuff if you ask. I finally plucked up the courage to speak to my local bobbies about some research I was doing (for an essay for class) and they were so helpful they actually invited me to an Educational Day Out they were running for my target age range (17-24). I had great fun!
     

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