I'm looking for work. I have a couple small businesses of my own which I've been working on building. They're coming along, profitable even, but just don't don't pay the bills yet. Plus, we recently moved to California and living costs are a wee bit higher than they were in Kansas. So, I'm looking for a job and need to start soon.
Last Friday I applied for a Customer Service position at a company which I found on a job board. This morning (Monday) I received an email from them requesting me to fill out an online questionnaire. While excited that I'm getting responses to my job applications, I am suspicious of this company for a few reasons which I'll detail below. As part of my research into the company, I noticed that this job is also posted on hundreds of other job boards across the US, all of which are identical down to the job title, wording and pay range).
Here's what I learned. All of this is verifiable by anyone by going to the sites listed.
1. The link from their email to the questionnaire was a unique URL for me, just a link to: theirsite.com/ONLINE-INTERVIEW.html. It has lots of questions about past customer service experience, “what would you do” questions, and asks for my contact info at the end. The next step, per the email, would be to have a background check done. This is where I'm most suspicious as they would need personal info to submit the background check (social security, birth date, etc).
2. Per scamadvisor, the site is only a couple months old. It's also hiding the WhoIs data for company contact info (go to GoDaddy, click on “WhoIs Search” at the bottom and then enter gtsolutions). Hiding whois data is pretty common on a lot of small sites, including my own. But if this were a legitimate company, providing outsourced home based Customer Service Reps for businesses across America, I'm sure they would have a legitimate brick and mortar place of business to house the HR staff needed to manage all the employees, acquire new clients etc. If this were the case, why not provide the real information in the WhoIs record? Check the WhoIs record for any big business and they'll have their information in there.
3. Per the yougetsignal site, which allows you to see if a website is hosted on the same server as other web sites, this company site shares a single server with over 800 other sites, including some with explicit content.
4. Upon googling the company phone number, which is listed on their site and in the email, the number belongs to a cat grooming shop in Robbins, IL (plus a couple entries for the hiring company).
5. The company website does not include any “About Us” page and no location information about the company.
I've emailed the above information to GoDaddy (domain registrar), as well as TuCows (hosting service) in hopes that they'll take the site down. In the mean time, I hope this article is found by anyone searching for information on the credibility of companies like this.
By all means, please do your own research and make your own conclusions about whatever company you're suspicious of. It may look like a great job and might be super convenient as aa work at home position, but it's very important to do your due diligence before submitting any personal information.
I encourage readers to reproduce this article in full, or link to it so other job seekers don't get ripped off when they're only trying to find a job and make an honest living.