Tuesday 24 February 2009

Internet scammers - is there no escaping them?

The FOARP is currently hunting around for employment for after he graduates in June (that's right, the FOARP now thinks of himself in the third person), and of course online searching is as good a way as any. One website seemed somehow to have exactly the kind of work I was looking for - but unfortunately it was a fee-paying site. "No problem" thought I, "Harrison Barnes has to put food on the table the same way everyone else does". But then I did a little searching, and behind reams and reams of articles apparently written by the same person, I found this article. A little more searching turned up a few more such articles. I have no way of verifying what they say, but it rings true given the clear self-promotion and obvious search engine optimalisation without any positive 3rd party reviewing. The effect is somewhat similar to visiting a country in which everyone praises the Dear Leader and his Glorious Regime - the instant you hear it you know to expect torture chambers and gulags.

Thoughts? Firstly, websites on which people report apparent rip-offs are an important resource (but watch out for ones hi-jacked by scammers). And second? Don't believe a damned thing you read on the internet.

1 comment:

Kenny said...

This all happened in 2008 but I guess my experience was not unique and people should hear about it. I signed up for BCG three times but was rejected as unqualified each time. The first time was because I only had one year of work experience. The other times I was told that my law school was not prestigious enough. My school is in the top 5o in the US News rankings but I know of two people who BCG accepted from schools in the bottom half of the rankings including Northern Kentucky School of Law and Tauro School of Law (no insult intended but that's just where the schools ranked). Then I couldn't get out of constant unsolicited e-mails from filling my inbox every day. The latest bulk of e-mails come from JDJOURNAL, another Harrison Barnes company.

Anyway, I tried Lawcrossing. I never was able to find out if the jobs that I applied to were real but I did get a letter back from the attorney general's office of a state next to where I live stating that no such jobs existed in their offices and further asked me why I thought that there was a job opening. I told them through Lawcrossing and the person in the office told me that they had a lot of problems with that company because they advertised many jobs that didn't exist including jobs for deputy attorney generals.

Then I tried to cancel my subscription and that was a total nightmare. No online or e-mail options so I had to call at my own expense because there was no toll free number. I was on hold forever only to reach a person with a typical U.S. name but obviously not from the U.S. He tried everything to keep me as a customer or sell me other products. I couldn't just hang up because I wouldn't be sure that they processed my request. After I finished with their customer service I immediately called my own state attorney general in MD, the attorney general in the neighboring state (PN) and the better business bureau to complain.