Archive for February 2011

Craig’s List Job Listing Hassles

February 8, 2011

I’ve been on a serious job search for several months now. In addition to the standard job sites (careerbuilder,, etc.) and the job listing aggregate sites (like – I’ve also been applying to a lot of jobs I see listed on My wife recently landed an awesome job that she first learned about on Craig’s List, so I’m hoping it works out for me, too. Craig’s List is a little bit of a wild frontier – there are large and small company listings on there – and many are anonymous.

But once in a while you run into something that’s not so cool. Here are some tactics I’ve recently run into from dubious posters. Hopefully this info will be educational for other job seekers.

TACTIC #1: The Phishing Scam
I replied to an ad for a Retail Graphic Designer which mentioned a major brand by name. My reply included a cover letter, resume, link to my online portfolio, and personal contact information. This is the reply I received:

Thank you for showing interest in this position. I am a placement specialist for Resource Information Services. We are hired by small and  large  companies  to place them with qualified applicants in your area.

Our client forwarded us your response from the ad for this position. After reviewing this, we are interested in moving forward with you to gain further information about you regarding this position. Our client is a little short on time, as the position is currently vacant. We want to move forward as soon as possible. Please complete our simple questionnaire through our secure portal as preparation for a personal interview with the company. Once you have submitted this, we will be in touch within 3-5 days. Please note that we may contact you via phone after your initial information is received. The questionnaire takes less than 5 minutes.

The secure portal is here:
(copy and paste this into your browser)

Your Personal Application ID is*: ****** (actual code removed)

*Application codes are only good for 24 hours.

Best Regards,

Jill Heaney
Armandina Gifford
Resource Information Services

Now, a couple of things about this reply. First, the sender was from a hotmail account. (Red Flag #1). Second, the company name sounded phishy – like overly generic – so I did a google search for “Research Information Services” and got the expected result – a bunch of non-related results. (Red Flag #2). When I clicked on the link (I felt relatively safe doing this since I use a Mac with the Firefox browser), it took me to a very generic page with no company header (Red Flag #3), but a login screen asking for the login code. When I put the code in, it took me to an application form for me to put in all my personal information (Red Flag #4 – if you recall, I had already sent them this information in my initial email). I closed out my browser at this pont and did not fill out the form. Bottom line – DON’T GIVE THESE FOLKS YOUR PERSONAL INFO.

Tactic #2: The Bait And Switch

I applied to another Graphic Design job, whose listing included the following description:

your role will consist of the following three components assembly (working with existing templates), marketing (creating promotional marketing material) and coordination (working with our third party printer to ensure jobs are completed on time, on budget and to the required specifications).
The ideal applicant will have the following:
1-3 years experience in graphic design
Portfolio of 5-10 pieces representing their skill and creativity
Strong working knowledge of design related applications (Adobe Creative Suite and Dreamweaver)
Able to bring ideas from concept to creation
Good Sense of colour
Very high attention to detail
Ability to manage a variety of projects simultaneously

The next day I got the following response:

I appreciate you responding to us and taking the time to submit your resume. Just in case the job ad wasnt clear, the duties of this opening are the following:

– Applicants will be screening telephone calls and sorting messages when applicable.
– Applicants will be scheduling the company group meetings, and running errands for the company for things such as buying materials and making bank deposits (you will be supplied a company vehicle for the duration of business hours).
– As you are running errands, you will also be supplied use of 1 of our company credit cards for all business purchases.

You seem more than qualified for our available position and more so than the additional 21 applicants we accepted resumes from. I am interested in taking the next stage with you. However, before I am able to schedule a final interview, my company will require that you obtain an up to date (past 20 days) credit score. We have begun doing this because regrettably we have had a number of bad incidents with past employees taking benefit of having access to our company credit cards.

Both the Human Resources division and myself prefer that applicants utilize our recommended web site to obtain your score as this site offers the check at no cost for the score (unlike other sites). I also found that this websites scores constantly report back the most factual and accurate information, also they are one of the most consistent trusted sources on line.

Once you submit the desired information, the site will offer to you your unobjective score. Then, you are asked to e-mail me the requested credit score, a telephone number that you can be reached, and your availability schedule to make plans for an interview. I ask you to not e-mail me the entire readout, as it has confidential information. If you keep a lower than expected credit score, it will never stop you from obtaining a position with us. I had a reasonably poor score when I started working here and I never had an issue. If you dont want to complete an up to date credit score, regrettably the company will require that I move forward to the 2nd choice.

Personally, I wish to fulfill this vacancy with a new friendly face and I am looking forward to your quick reply.

Have a terrific Tuesday.
Staffing Assistant
GRP Management

GRP’s website shows that they are a typical recruiting service. When you click on their available openings, no Graphic Design position is listed. It seems this whole scheme is intended to get you to go to their special website to get your credit report (I did not do this). That site is probably filled with all kinds of malware, ads, or other runarounds.

TACTIC #3: More Phishing

After applying to an ad for a designer, I received the following:

Thanks for your response to our job posting on Craigslist. Our corporation is a fresh corporation in expansion and we are seeking to create an driven and devoted group. We are especially interested in your submission. Our human resources supervisor requires that all resumes be submitted through the most well-liked on-line career network for uniformity and cleaner tracking. This is a no cost service to all applicants.

Please upload your resume Here.

We anticipate taking a look at your resume and discussing your prospective employment with our corporation. Please email me and let me know as soon as your resume is submitted.

Staffing Assistant
Merchant Media Inc

It is just a different way of asking for your personal information.

So Job Seekers please beware out there! While Craigs List can be an awesome direct link to employers, it can also be filled with spammers, phishing scams, and bait-and-switch recuirtment tactics.