In this time of recession, it is more important than ever to highlight, again, the bait-and-switch tactics being used against ordinary people looking for telecommute work.
What is bait and switch? We’ll look at it specifically in relation to submission of resumes in the hope of getting a job.
The Scenario: It’s Monday morning. You’re checking Craigslist (or some such other site) over your morning coffee, worried because you have just lost your job. You see a listing and think you have come across something special: a job in your local area, working from home, which pays much more than your previous salary.
You email your resume and the poster responds immediately: "Wow. You’re just the person the employer is looking for.” After a few days the poster contacts you again to tell you that “your resume is creating a negative effect according to some of the employers. We do not want to see your resume being rejected yet again for these top level jobs ... These jobs are not public so you have no competition, but we must act quickly or someone else will surely take the jobs that were meant for you. We can help you by offering you our expert resume service for $50 which will ensure that your resume will get you that job.” You send your money and… oops -- no revamped resume, no job, and someone in cyberspace has all your personal details!
They used the bait of a non-existent job to pull you in, then switch and persuade to part with your money for the never-materializing re-worked resume that has got you ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. You’ve sent your personal info to someone you don’t know and whose motives are entirely fraudulent.
This bait and switch is used by firms such as this one – www.careerexperts.org. Based in Vancouver, B.C., it is run by a convicted conman named Harris Black (a.k.a. Harry Williams, Harry Black, Harry Simon, John Ashton, Steven Shaw, David Gogo, Mark Canterbury, Allan Namer, Mark Linton, Tom Lang, Kenneth Greenberg, Harry Kennedy, Lisa Flaherty, Lisa Stanford, Jane Sweeney, Heather Caulfield, Greg Thompson, Martin Feldman, Jennifer Mason, Sister Mary Joseph).
There is a very useful site giving more information about this particular scammer – www.harrisblackwatch.com. This site tracks his actions, companies and scams. His particular scam "specialty" is CV harvesting. His operation is a prime example of the sort of pitfall a telecommute job seeker can face. He started another scam company in August 2008 -- www.123hired.com -- and is also known to have operated as Horizon Recruiting, HMB Consulting Human Resources Service, John Ashton, Phoenix Enterprises, Ideal Personnel, Employment 3000, Employment 2000, Roxton Marketing, and Find-A-Job.
Currently, it is not known what other sites or operations have been set up by this individual. But just think -- if this is the scam work of one man -- how many others are out there?
While Craigslist, and other sites, do their best to prevent the scammers from posting, far too many do get through. In February 2009, the Federal Trade Commission will publish its complaints report for 2008 regarding fraudulent telework opportunities, agencies and more.