Online Job Scam: Job Site Responses
The World Privacy Forum contacted CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com and Hotjobs.com to invite them as industry leaders to provide information about how they protect jobseekers from fraud. These sites and others were also invited to participate in a joint teleconference to discuss possible solutions to job fraud, given the changed environment the industry now faces.
Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and HotJobs.com all responded with their job fraud plans. Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com said yes to the teleconference. At the time this report was published, researchers were waiting for an imminent response from HotJobs.com, which was in the midst of an earnings report and awaiting a final answer from parent company Yahoo!. Researchers expect to hear an answer from the company soon, and will update this section when an answer is received.
Some of the other sites contacted for the teleconference included Craigslist.org, which has agreed to participate in the teleconference, as has NACELInk, DirectEmployers, and PreferredJobs.
DICE was contacted to participate in the teleconference but declined participation.
Additionally, all of the sites posting the fraudulent jobs were contacted prior to publication of the report to notify them of the publication. A copy of the report and the timeline will be sent to all of the sites to assist them in removing the fraudulent jobs and hopefully removing this persistent scam.
Job site responses (listed alphabetically)
A. CareerBuilder Response
The vast majority of jobs posted on CareerBuilder.com are the result of the ongoing relationships our direct sales force has with customers. While job fraud is not a common occurrence at CareerBuilder.com, we take the issue very seriously and have implemented measures to help protect our job seekers:
[-] On every job posting, we include an alert for job seekers that provides tips to keep in mind when dealing with prospective employers.
The alert reads as follows:
[-] FOR YOUR PRIVACY AND PROTECTION, when applying to a job online:
1. Never give your social security number to a prospective employer.
2. Never provide credit card or bank account information, or perform any sort of monetary transaction.
Learn more >> <http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Info/Privacy.htm>
[-] The alert links back to a special section on CareerBuilder.com that is devoted to Job Seeker Privacy and discusses what CareerBuilder.com does to protect job seeker information and what job seekers can do to protect themselves. <http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Info/Privacy.htm>
[-] CareerBuilder.com includes this alert in our outbound emails to job seekers, which are distributed to millions on a daily basis.
[-] CareerBuilder.com has a dedicated team of Quality Control specialists who monitor job postings on our site on a daily basis. The team uses various search methodologies to identify any jobs that are in violation of our posting standards. If the team comes across a violation, the job posting will be promptly removed and the source will be “red flagged” to prevent the organization from submitting another posting in the future.
B. Hotjobs.com Response
(Note: Researchers did not find any iterations of the scam outlined in this report on Hotjobs.com.)
Yahoo! HotJobs put a strong process in place over a year ago to protect our job seekers from fraudulent job postings. I believe we are the only job board to proactively do this. We are constantly evaluating how we can protect job seekers and our customers. I listed some key points below.
[-] Fraudulent job postings violate HotJobs’ terms of service
[-] As you can read in the Yahoo! HotJobs policy “Posting any franchise, pyramid scheme, “club membership”, distributorship or sales representative agency arrangement or other business opportunity which requires an up front or periodic payment, pays commissions only (no significant salary) or requires recruitment of others including, but not limited to, members, sub-distributors or sub- agents is prohibited.”
[-] We pride ourselves on protecting our job seekers from jobs that require the job seeker to make any type of investment or outlay of money.
[-] Any contract goes through a process where the company posting jobs is scrutinized for legitimacy (both internally and externally with parties who are also looking out for the best interest of the job seeker).
[-] We can’t share the details in terms of how we screen for these types of jobs because we don’t want our process to be manipulated.
[-] If fraudulent activity is brought to HotJobs’ attention, we will take action to protect our job seekers including deleting any suspect job postings and blocking the access of the questionable job posters to HotJobs’ site.
[-] While HotJobs is not aware of any incidents involving theft of personal information resulting from a job listing on the site, we still post information on HotJobs.com to protect our job seekers. We also send job tips to job seekers who receive the myHotJobs newsletter. Here is a link http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/hotjobs/hotjobs-01.html to some of the content we post on the site to protect job seekers.
Essentially, we encourage job seekers to:
[-] Make informed decisions before sharing your Social Security number with a potential employer. Most employers will not ask for personal information until you arrive at their offices for an in-person interview and are given a formal job application, so be wary if you are asked to give your Social Security number by phone, e-mail or online.
[-] If you have doubts about a company’s legitimacy, research the company using Web sites operated by the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) and the United States Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.org).
[-] Refrain from providing credit card or bank account numbers, or engaging in any financial transactions over the phone or online with a potential employer/recruiter.
[-] Withhold offering personal information (such as marital status, age, height, weight). Such questions violate federal hiring standards and job seekers are not obligated to answer them.
[-] Exercise caution when dealing with prospective job contacts outside of the United States.
C. Monster.com Response
Monster is aware of the rare occasions when fraudulent job postings have appeared on the site. We are proactively taking the steps necessary to protect our job seekers and provide a safe environment for them to manage their careers. In fact, Monster has a Fraud Task Force, overseen by senior management, that monitors the site for any suspicious activity. We implemented this safeguard not only to protect users, but also the integrity of the Monster brand and our website.
All job postings are screened and monitored to ensure their legitimacy. To assist job seekers, below are a few “red flags” that they should
be careful of when viewing a job online:
[-] Email addresses from a non-corporate domain; [-] Jobs involving Eastern European Countries; and
[-] Descriptive words in the postings including:package-forwarding, money transfers, wiring funds, eBay, and PayPal.
Monster will continue to work hard to protect visitors to our website. Last year, we sent an email to our entire user base, notifying them of the potential for fraudulent job postings and tips on how to protect themselves from falling victim to this rare occurrence. (The tips we have posted on our homepage are available via this URL: http://help.monster.com/besafe/). Most recently, we were made aware of a fraudulent email, posing as Monster, that was being distributed. The same day we were notified of this communication (from two of our job seekers), we alerted our entire active user base via the e-mail below.
PDF of Monster.com email alert to user base. (Note: this Monster email is not related to the scam discussed in this interim report.)
Roadmap: A Year in the Life of an Online Job Scam – A Longitudinal Study: V. Job Site Responses