Looking for a big-time job-search scam? The big ones are not hard to find. Try this one, or this one, or this one.

But the best that Time magazine can muster is crooked cleaning services  and the “deposit this check and send us half” rouse? Job-search scams on the rise in the recession. Gimme a break. Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are no better. They run the “human interest” tear-jerkers. “62 year old grandma taken for $1,000 by third-world scammer who needed to move $60 million out of the country.”

And you wonder why the big scams are fleecing millions of job hunters and HR departments of billions of dollars every year… Sorry, Suckers, “the news” doesn’t cover the $30/month that a few million of you spent for platinum job board memberships.

Anyone interested in a slightly used hand-screened $100k+ job? Or a few thousand of them? Pssst… Hey, Kid, we got ’em! Just fifty bucks!

The worst scams are committed in broad daylight run under our noses.


  1. Check this World Privacy Forum report http://www.worldprivacyforum.org/jobscamreportpt1.html, but not before bedtime. There are hundreds of phony blogs and phony newspaper articles touting ripoffs like the ‘Google Biz Kit’, read the Terms & Conditions please. My favorite fake newspaper story supposedly came from the ‘Los Angeles Tribune’. That has a certain familiar ring. It should; it was the paper where Lou Grant worked!

  2. Hey Nick –

    I always appreciate your viewpoint, but before we rake TIME over the coals too much, let’s give them the credit for putting the article out there. Don’t see too many members of the media taking this issue seriously.

    I thought it was a very good article, even if I was quoted in it. The screening has improved – at least somewhat – on many sites since Pam’s well-documented report in 2004, but the scams and scammers have gotten more sophisticated, too.

    Most people who’ve been badly hurt by one of these scams isn’t excited to share that with the world, so I’m not surprised to see few (and/or low cost) examples.

    This is not a problem that’s going away, and I’m glad that TIME did an article about it.

  3. Any news about scams is useful, but I’ll start cheering when Time does an expose on TheLadders, Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs.

    TheLadders home page: “Exclusively $100k+ jobs”

    Go talk to one of the hundred+ people who shared their stories about their Ladders experiences on this blog. Apply whatever factor you like to come up with one of the biggest scams going on the Net.

  4. I think we’re in violent agreement on this issue, and I am definitely NO fan of the sites you mention.

    I’d like to see more attention given to what I see as bigger issues:

    * Social Security Number collection (and protection!) –
    Legitimate employers, including our own Federal government, REQUIRING job seekers to hand over their Social Security Numbers at the beginning of the hiring process, from “pre-interview screening” to grocery store employment application kiosks and USAJOBS.gov.

    * Resume db access –
    Job boards and employers having almost no restrictions on what they do with the resumes they gather – rent them, sell them, whatever, with ALL of the information they’ve collected available for the right price with few questions asked.

    * Privacy Policy accountability –
    The FTC (or whatever Federal Agency is appropriate) checking to see if sites comply with their own published privacy policies. OR, more visibility (and accountability) for the privacy certification industry, like BBBonline, TRUSTe, etc. Pam Dixon did a major expose of Monster on this one in September of 2001 which is still available on PamDixon.com.

    There are MANY issues to address and wrongs to right in this whole process, and I think that any chance we get to bring these issues to public attention is good.

  5. @Susan: No disagreement from me. Thanks for highlighting the kooky practices the continue. Pam Dixon has been at the forefront of exposing the insanity and irresponsibility.

    I recently read a report about pending legislation that would prohibit employers from demanding credit histories prior to hiring. Someone in Washington is asking, Whose business is your credit history, anyway?