If you’ve ever used StartJobs.net or OnlineResumeBuilders.com, please note that they were recently outed as scam sites. An AIM Group investigation, along with the Better Business Bureau and several state attorney generals agree: the two sites are fraudulent and have been putting job seekers at risk.
StartJobs (now marked as “Under Construction” online) billed itself as a job aggregator, but many of its job listings with companies like Costco, FedEx, and Amazon were fake, used only to lure job seekers into sharing an obscene amount of deeply personal information. Job seekers were asked for their name, phone number, address, and email address, but also details like home ownership, income, debt level, current mortgage and mortgage rate. Those who entered information were bombarded with emails and text messages that wouldn’t stop, even when the targets legally opted out.
OnlineResumeBuilders.com, a StartJobs corporate affiliate, is accused of placing unauthorized charges on users’ accounts. The resume service touted itself as being free, but when job seekers were ready to print their resumes, a credit card was required to cover the charge, which users claim kicked off a cycle of high monthly automatic charges of about $30 that were made nearly impossible to cancel.
If you’ve been targeted by either of these companies or feel you’ve been scammed by a similar job site, let your state’s attorney general know. You can file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s office here. You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
To protect yourself from scam job and resume sites:
- Don’t offer up highly personal information like your social security number or mortgage information.
- Check out the company’s ratings with the Better Business Bureau.
- Locate the company’s physical address on their site. A PO box—which is what StartJobs was using—is a red flag.
- Search online to see if the hiring company and the location given is real (for instance, check to see if a certain location of a Costco that’s hiring actually exists).
- Read the fine print before offering any information at all, including your email or resume.
- Other job scams involve paying upfront for training or equipment—you should never need to pay anything to a new employer.
- If you unexpectedly hit a paywall for a service that touts itself as being “free” or are asked to enter credit card information as insurance or “just in case,” don’t do it.
- Don’t overlook typos, grammatical errors, and unprofessional writing. Those are signs the company or person contacting you isn’t who they say they are.
Scammers are betting on you being vulnerable during a job search. Don’t let them take advantage of you. Be skeptical and report scam job boards and resume services when they strike so that other job seekers can avoid falling victim, too.