Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Fake job postings and e-mails continue from Monster.com

Every few days, I get an e-mail with “Great News!”

It’s from the ultimate fake job site – no, not Craigslist – but Monster.com.

The e-mail is the same every time, and it informs me that is has found a “Journalism, Design and Photography Opportunity” in Sarasota. The employer? The U.S. Navy.

Bullshit.

This is an example of the spamming Monster.com does because some companies (including the Navy) pay Monster to post fake job postings. There are no jobs with the Navy in Sarasota in journalism. It’s just to lure you in to get called by a recruiter for an exciting career, probably as a nondesignated striker, on some destroyer in the winter in the North Atlantic.

Sorry, but at 48 and as a Marine Corps veteran, I’d eat the eagle, globe and anchor before I’d ever put on that silly squid outfit.

The sad reality is that this is the golden age of the job scam. Scumbag scam artists have a mass of choices for their entertainment, including the aforementioned Craigslist, Monster.com, Careerbuilder, and the bogus and nonsensical job advice in what’s left of our local newspapers.

There’s an outfit in Tampa called Pro Source Services, and they purport to be some kind of marketing company, but they’re also bogus, according to some who’ve fallen for their game. They post under a couple of names on Monster.com looking for “entry-level” people and pretending to offer real jobs.

I’m pretty savvy, and I have to confess that I even sent a resume to Pro Source thinking it was a real company. Fortunately, they never called back.

The other big scam out there is the “laptop presentation” scheme. This is really nasty, because it’s trying to sell annuities to senior citizens. Any company with “Ameri-,” “Income,” “Life,” “National,” “Liberty” or any combination thereof is probably an annuity company looking for economically desperate people to pitch their trash to seniors. So many retired folks have been scammed in Florida, even the state’s CFO has complained about the companies, but they appear to own a few key state legislators, and that keeps them in business. Once in a while one gets busted, but the rest keep on keepin’ on.

Some people wonder why you never read exposes about Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com and the junk jobs they allow on their site. Simple. Newspapers have deals with those two and would rather write about job scams on Craigslist, though it is true that virtually all the job ads on Craigslist are bullshit.

But there are exceptions. The place I work at recently got good results from its Craigslist job ad. Why? Well, my boss was honest about the qualifications for the job and, most important, he put up his real business e-mail address and the business’s real phone number (I should know, I took many of the calls.)

We had a good number of fabulous and well-qualified people who inquired, and picked someone who is eager to become a member of the team. I did my best in replying to all of those who called and wrote (mostly by e-mail but a couple of people got a phone call) to thank them for applying and to tell them the job was filled. It hurts, I know, to get that call or e-mail, but I felt that replying to them and acknowledging them was the right thing to do.

See, that’s the way to do things honestly and upfront, even on a site like Craigslist. No hiding behind “craigslist.org” e-mail addresses, no lies, no deliberate vagueness.

Times are hard enough for everyone as it is, and to read about all the fake job posters out there and the pain they’re causing is infuriating. Knowing that job ad companies are complicit in a lot of the fakes and frauds just shows their managers’ moral bankruptcy.

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August 5, 2009 - Posted by | The jobless chronicles | , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. The aforementioned job is still posted on Craigslist. Is there another job–or do you need to delete the entry so that we seekers can move on to other possibilities?

    Comment by Hopeful Writer | August 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi:

      Yes, the job has been filled. Only my boss can delete it, and I guess he hasn’t yet.

      Sorry. I know it’s really frustrating.

      Comment by Vincent Safuto | August 8, 2009 | Reply

  2. I knew Pro Source sounded suspicious. Will not be going to that interview. How can companies get away with the scams along with Monster.com and others? Is there no regulations or oversight for this type of abuse?

    Comment by Deborah | September 22, 2009 | Reply

    • The problem is that Monster.com is not so much a job site as a marketing tool. Thus, there are tons of ads for online “universities” and resume analysis outfits. If a company is willing to buy the space for ads, they’re willing to take that money. Companies on the Internet (match.com, Careerbuilder, etc.) stopped caring about the customers long ago.

      Comment by Vincent Safuto | September 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. You know…I became suspicious of Monster and tired of having to click thru so many advertisements, for all sorts of services. I did a search trying to get the scams or problems with Monster, or to see if my suspicions of fake jobs were tru, and guess what…there is nothing! Only very few independent sites as yours. That tells me that you are right about the silence of the media when negative publicity with Monster is concerned.

    Comment by Carlos Irizarry | January 9, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thank you for your comments about the job search engines. My husband and I are both unemployed. He is registered on Monster and other engines, and continually gets calls from insurance company secretaries phishing to fill their quotas to save their jobs.

    I interviewed a few years ago for an insurance company looking for a secretary. The job expected the secretary to be willing to phish sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and even our state unemployment site. To keep the job I would have to positively have 80 people a week attend the company’s job sales seminars. NO WAY would I work under the conditions those assistants do.

    So in one sense, you have to commend the people who are trying to fulfill the expectations of their jobs. On the other hand, we’re all tired of being encouraged to walk down empty alleys.

    Your opinions are appreciated. Thank you!

    Comment by Patty | March 7, 2010 | Reply

    • It’s become clear to me that sites like Monster.com exist primarily to sell ads to anyone who wants one. I read an article where one of the founders of Monster quit after he sold the company and the new owner said he really wanted to gouge employers.

      As a former journalist (laid off from a paper in September 2008), I’ve kept up with the job situation in the news business. On a Web site called “Romenesko,” someone wrote in to the careers guru to say that he’s been getting phone calls from annuity sales companies. Like you said about the ones you encountered, they seem to phish job boards looking for likely — and desperate — candidates for their pitches.

      I have a job interview today (found at a journalism jobs site); that’s the best approach, I think: Look for a job at a company’s Web site or on a professional board, and not at an aggregator site.

      Best of luck, and thanks for commenting.

      Comment by Vincent Safuto | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. I have been convinced over years or efforts that MONSTER.COM is more of a website for scammers than an actual job site. I have yet to gain anything but a continuing advance of scam artists trying to get me to work for nothing than anything else.

    I truly wish there was a reputable job site out there that would yearn for viable candidates.

    Comment by Aaron Alberts | June 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. I’m in the middle of a job hunt and while I wait for responses to the resumes I’ve sent out, I started to dig into why these big job boards don’t seem to deliver on the services that they advertise. I have to admit, in recent days, I’ve started to get alot of spam for jobs in the finance, real-estate, and sales areas.

    The problem with the job boards is that they make their money on selling all the information, we the job seeker, put up on our profile. I recently blogged about just how much money they take in from companies. It’s pretty amazing the price tags some of these things go for. It’s no wonder that only recruiters mine these sites now instead of legitimate companies that can offer you a job. It’s just too expensive and they can’t justify the cost. So most companies outsource it to recruiters. Just what we all need right…two middle men between us and the job of our dreams (the job board and the recruiter.) And to make matters worse, now you have to sift through the scams as well.

    Disgusting.

    Comment by workthroughit | July 15, 2010 | Reply

  7. Monster.com are notoriously famous for posting fake jobs, false advertising, outdated ads and multiplying the same ad over and over in order to create the impression of abundance.

    They are the not the only ones: indeed.com, which is a better provider does exactly the same. On linkedin, the HR of the most known firms are posting fake jobs to gather resume and profiles (google, bmc, yahoo, etc..) …

    monster is a crappy old fashioned malfunctioning job search engine but the competition is as dishonest as they are. All of them take the money without any check including real scams to screw people and data theft.

    Comment by TN | July 3, 2014 | Reply


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