The first job contact I have had in a long time turned out to be a scam. The company advertises itself as a marketing company. The keywords they use to advertise openings are “administrative,” “graphic design,” “marketing” and so on. They specialize in advertising events. You will not be doing administrative or marketing jobs; you will be driving all over the play trying to hard sell things of dubious worth to people who want you to go away. (Or at least you would if you had a car and could drive, which I can’t.)
I was not at first aware that this company was a scam company. I had applied because it seemed to advertising a social media opening, though the wording was very vague. It reminded me a little of the job description and keyword tactics of another advertising company that turned out to be a scam, but I sent in my resume anyway. I got a call from them and was very excited, and after some phone-tag was able to arrange an interview. (I was also told that I would be sent information about where I’d be interviewing but it never came.)
Then I did some research on the company, as you do. What I found did not make me very happy.
Here are some problems concerning the web site:
- The website was not very professional looking. It was very flashy, but it did not really look like a company website.
- There was very little information about the company. Most of the information there was promotional material stating that face to face interactions and public events were superior to social media.
- The information itself seemed more aimed toward prospective employees than to potential clients.
- There were Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buttons, but they did not go to a company page when you clicked them. There was also a Blogger blog but that had even less information about the company than the web page. (The blog entries mostly resembled spammer twitters.)
- I had one hell of a time trying to find any information on this company. (If you cannot find any information on a company, you should be suspicious.) What I did notice immediately was when I searched the company name the drop down of suggested keywords included “complaints.” Better Business Bureau did not have any information on them. My attempt to find them on Glass Door did not go well, as they didn’t seem to be there.
- I found some information from Yahoo Answers and a job board about the company. Both had a number of highly critical complaints concerning the company’s business practices and treatment of employees. There were a few people defending the company, but there were more people complaining about it.
As a result, I decided not to bother going to the interview.
Other scams I have encountered during previous job hunts:
- There was a company that was apparently selling home security packages. Door to door. I might have still signed up, but I read the small print which seemed to be designed to completely screw over the salesperson and skedaddled out of there.
- There was another “advertising” company that relied on public events.
- There was a telemarketing job that sold websites that would somehow magically enable people to make money from home. They somehow made this sound legitimate enough that I was actually filling out the paperwork for signing on before I came to my senses.
Some unsolicited advice:
- Do research on the company. You should be doing research on the company you are applying at to begin with but pay close attention to things like complaints about business practices and the product or service.
- Pay even more attention to what they say on their website or their ads. “Information” that is vague or misleading.
- See if the key words the company chooses are all over the place or if they are posting one job in multiple categories. This is an extremely dishonest tactic.
- If you are detecting a “hardsell” technique to get you to sign on, you should be suspicious, even if they do state or otherwise admit that the job is difficult.