Briefly, I moved back to the USA from the United Kingdom approximately 2 months ago due to my mother with terminal cancer. I resigned a very good job in the United Kingdom but when I started my search for work here in the USA, I have found it to be somewhat uphill. On March 12, 2010, I saw an ad for a federal position and willing to apply to get a foot within the federal employment system, wrote a reply to state that I was interested. I received an e-mail back directing me to apply with Chattanooga-Careers-Network. I did apply and then upon submitting my application and CV, I found it to be a scam employment website.
I was quite angry at the trickery and found that one (fake) employment agency was actually registered with the State of Florida as a marketing and advertising corporation. I have personally traced that all the companies involved and the ring-leader is the Orlando, Florida company which has >1500 web domains, many set up as fake employment agencies around the USA (Chattanooga-career-network, Phoenix-career-network, Boston-career-network, etc. [continued below]....
.......you get the idea) to phish for personal details; i.e., ID theft.
If you use a search engine like Google, and type in Nationwide Employment Solutions, and the various other names of the Orlando, Florida Company uses, you will find multiple victims of ID theft too. There are several local Orange County television investigative reports about complaints stemming from the Florida Company which goes by multiple names but is reported at Internet Solutions Inc.. Former employees have reported to various news agencies that this Orlando company does not actually have business contracts to supply jobs but is strictly phishing job seekers to market (illegally sell) victims information gathered. I am personally shocked that this company is not already shut-down with the plethora of bad press and BBB negative reports swirling around both the Houston, Texas and Orlando, Florida companies.
These employment companies troll various job boards or place fictitious jobs on job boards using brand-name companies to give a job seeker a sense of security about their virtual employment firm. They also allowing partner-marketers to link to their fake employment websites when a job seeker applies to deceptively establish a business relationship with the victim, allowing partner-marketer to deceptively circumventing the FTCs Do-Not-Call policy whereby selling their wares.
In my case, I experienced various companies contacting me however (1) a Houston, Texas company, named Nationwide Employment Solutions was the first to call, not about a job offer, but to try to sell me on returning to post-secondary schools funding this excursion with student loans from various private lenders (banks at higher interest rates than through the US Federal government). I am sure they get a percentage of the loan and a finders fee for students who sign up for these mostly private cyber-schools.
Another company, calling itself, US Higher Learning was also extremely aggressive. They phoned me over 15 times just this past week. I understand that this excessive number of phone calls alone is also illegal under the FTCs Do-Not-Call policy even if they claim a business relationship with a citizen registered under the US Federal Do-Not-Call law. (BTW, at the date of this letter, US Higher Learning in Green Acres, Florida, like Nationwide Employment Solutions in Houston, Texas, is also an unregistered company doing business in the State of Florida.)
The last issue I raise is somewhat convoluted, however I feel that it needs to be raised. In my experience with these partner-marketers, I found them (1) targeting job seekers who may be at their tether financially, desperate for funds, (2) aggressively pushing student loans in a very predatory manner, and (3) pushing me and I am sure other victims of ID Theft to take classes through unaccredited cyber-schools. There may or may not be any laws to stop this abuse at this time but if you connect the dots, you find this to be a similar scam which happened in the housing market and has wreaked havoc in our US economy. As you are probably well aware, an individual cannot go bankrupt on a student loan. Now, with what appears to be predatory lending taking place (Unlike a student aid office at any local university, I was told over the telephone by these marketers that I flat-out qualify for student loans through them despite no application filed or any information given on my personal financial status), desperate job seekers may resort to taking out these loans to help ends meet until they feel the economy is stronger and they are in a position garner a job. With especially, unregulated, unaccredited schooling that is not generally recognized, graduating students with less than robust marketable skills, individuals will more than likely find their selves in another economic crisis a few years down the road. When they are unable to pay back the say, $40,000-$60,000 worth of debt for a certificate or associates degree from a private, unaccredited school, they will have no choice but to default. Houses will be seized and cars repossessed for payment of student loan debt. Unlike this crisis where homes can be returned to the mortgage lenders, I am sure you are aware that student loan debt, like taxes and child support cannot be forfeited in bankruptcy court. It is another predatory lending crisis just waiting to wreck our economy down the road if not stopped in its tracks.
I would also think that raising the alarm concerning the predatory lending policies of shady private post secondary institutions directed to job seekers would be something that would be of interest for the betterment of not just our conscious but also our nation. Currently, I can find nothing in the national media about these scams and predatory-lending tactics I describe, however this is what has happened to me.
Again, I ask you to please consider helping me raise the alarm by contacting the FBI, the FTC, and both the Florida and Texas Attorney General's and your state's Attorney General about these scam operations. I know that it feels better to post on a website like this (and to warn others is important), however, it is more important to contact law enforcement whereby they can investigate and prosecute.
PS Ideas which would stop much of this illegal scamming individual out of money, ID, and other resources:
(a) Legislate requiring job boards to request a businesss IRS EIN (Employment Identification Number) in their private database before being allowed to post a job to the public. This would greatly help law enforcement and help various State coffers imposing large fines for fraudulent information given.
(b) Currently, the US Federal Law mandates proper mailing addresses for registrants when a company or individual purchases an ICANN web domain name. It is a 7 year sentence in the Federal big-house if the feds will prosecute. If you see a scam and you suspect false domain names, report them ASAP. Many thieves put any name and address (some even taunting names and addresses) down which greatly slows law enforcement when they go after the crooks. Call your state senators and representatives to impose stiff fines for false addresses to offset the cost of law enforcement costs to track down law breakers.