Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WGAL 8 On Your Side Report on Employment Scam

Local NBC Affiliate WGAL did an "8 On Your Side" consumer report yesterday on the Employment Scam I posted about and I was interviewed.   You can watch the report here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Employment Scam: WN Positions

Last night I received a call from a company called WN Positions.  The guy on the other end of the phone said I had filled out a survey and had indicated that I wanted to be contacted if I qualified.  I asked what I qualified for and he said there were a few more questions to determine if I would be able to use their free service for locating employment. (I began to become suspicious at this point as I am not currently seeking employment and he had called my personal cell phone directly and not the Google Voice number I have used on any employment application or resume.) He then began asking me questions such as:

"Are you a US Citizen?"
"Did you graduate high school or have a G.E.D.?"

I answered both questions the way I normally would, but then came two more questions:

"What is your full name?"

I hesitated to answer and provided a generic response of  "You should have my name from the survey."   The guy asked again and I asked him to move on.

Then he asked the big question:

"What is your date of birth?"

I immediately said "You are not allowed to ask that question as it is against the law for an employer to ask that information."   Having gone through a job search last year - I had become familiar with the questions employers could not ask and information I should not give out prior to filling out the final paperwork with Human Resources.  

I received some type of response from the guy on the other end the resembled "We need this information to qualify you for our free service for locating employment."  

From the time he asked me my name I had gone to my computer and performed Google search and saw that this was an identity theft scam.    After his response I promptly informed him that I was an IT Professional and was familiar with how spammers and malware authors attempt to scam people into giving up personal information to perform identity theft.  He seemed to have put the line on mute and I kept asking "Hello? Are you there?"   

After a few moments later I told the guy I was going to be contacting the Attorney General's office regarding this identity theft scam and I was switched to what sounded like a recording stating:

"We're sorry you do not qualify for our services."   The call was then disconnected.

I tried contacting the PA Attorney General's Consumer Affairs office and was greeted with the "Our hours are blah blah, please call back during normal business hours"

I then decided to call the number that had called me and someone else answered and went through a similar set of questions, but I must not have been playing myself as the innocent victim as the guy was slow to respond to my questions as to why he needed to know the information. In the end he placed me on mute for over 5 minutes and I disconnected the call.

I am posting this to get the word out on this scam.  I may post the actual number they called me from later, but it was a local 717 area code number and it is still operational over 12 hours after my calls.  

Let this be a warning.  Be suspicious of ANY phone call you receive from any number you are not familiar with.  

More details will be coming soon.