Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Erik, My Love!" - Souless $cam & My Summer Project

I've contemplated several billion times what I felt like talking about today. I originally had planned a continuation of the last topic, a dissection of what love is, plus a few comments about an article in the latest Cosmo. Maybe eventually I will get around to that, maybe not. I know I said that I didn't want to make this too personal, but I'm wondering now if I've already passed that stage... In terms of current events, nothing has happened that I've really found to be exceptionally interesting. So I guess it's time to introduce what was going to be my summer project, and a major point of this blog...

As some of you may know, I was looking for a job for this summer. I wasn't sure where to start, so I decided to post resumes on job sites like Monster and CareerBuilder. Throughout my search, I kept track of all companies that contacted me- real or not. Why? Well, think about it. So many people are looking for work right now, and it's hard to find a company that's hiring. People may be desperate for work, willing to take whatever they can get. What better time to take advantage of that than now? Since so much of job searching and applying has shifted to electronic media and the internet, it has opened up the perfect opportunites for scammers to swindle their way into our lives. I started this "project" about a month or so ago, and already I've received more fraudulent "job offers" than I can count! It's absolutely appalling. At the end of the summer, I will be posting a list of these companies, along with a detailed summary of the project, so that others can be aware of these b@$t@rd$.

Here are some examples of my replies to these companies (before I started ignoring the emails)
(Warning: I can be a bitch when I want to be... and no, I didn't really say that to her... in the final email ^^"):

Dear Ms. *********,

No. Thank you, but I must decline. I am well aware of your "company" and its reputation-- and the $500 "necessary" software. I'm sorry to hear that you are associated with such a company, because I would really like to think that you and your coworkers are nice people (though I've come to accept the fact that you're probably some old, wrinkly ihag intern desperate for money and willing to do anything short of prostitution- since you can't get that kind of work anyway- to pay the bills-- in which case I deeply sympathize [tear] and would like to let you know that I seriously could not care less about people like you, since you clearly have no soul). I must insist that you and your associates do not email me again. Any further emails will be blacklisted and deleted.

Also, since you have contacted me, I must tell you that I am currently writing an essay/article on job hunting in today's market, with a focus on internet scams and employment fraud. This essay is unlikely to be published anywhere except on my own personal blog, but I must inform you that I am including a list of all notorious or questionable "companies" that have personally contacted me during the course of my job search. Your company will appear on this list.
Please take note of the following [OMITTED, for length here, but same as below)


(Reply to an OBVIOUS scam - God, they didn't even try to hide it!)

Dearest Erik,
May I call you Erik? How about Love? Anyway, thanks for the prompt feedback. Your suggestion sounds amazing!...

Or, Not.
Pardon my prior sarcasm, but (in all seriousness) I wanted to thank you for participating in my independent research project. I did not expect to hear back from you.
Curiosity and boredom lead to interesting results. As I mentioned, I do a lot of online research, and (surprise!) never trust a psych major, because you never know what we're studying. In this case, I am researching online job applications and résumés, and focusing on the risk of scams and employment fraud. To do this, during my real summer job search, not only I am applying to ads that are obviously legitimate but also to ads that seem questionable, just to see what kind of response I receive. Over the next year or so, I will be compiling a list of all of the places that do not respond, give a scripted or standard response, or give me a questionable response, and of any relevant spam emails I receive, so that I may share such information with peers. Your reply is definately 'questionable.'

Please take note of the following:
- This personal project is independent of all associations.
- The results will NOT be formally published anywhere except on my private blog and in an article I am writing on internet scams, trust, and employment.
- All results are confidential (your name will not be mentioned), however I must flag your craigslist ad.
- Nor will there be legal action against any site (unless there is due cause-- i.e. identity theft or sharing/using my information).
- This project is not for profit or any benefit other than spreading social awareness and for personal use.
- This project will not directly affect the "businesses" in any way that they would not be otherwise subject to. (I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to make a list of potentially risky websites. I always do further research on all sites before posting them to the list to ensure that they are in fact "questionable." I do not wish to defame legitimate companies, only expose the false ones. Your reply has already been identified by others as a scam. Therefore, welcome to the list.)

I assure you this project will not affect your "business" in any way-- It only serves to help innocent people avoid being scammed in this time of economic crisis, and to provide resources for those who have fallen victim.

Again, thank you for your input.


As I wrote that at like 5 am, I'm surprised it's so coherent... Anyway, so there's your sneak peek into what I've been up to... I haven't replied to any other companies, and as I'm no longer actively searching for a job, it's all up to them now... I think I will still post on Cosmo/"Love" later, maybe tomorrow. I don't feel like myself right now (will explain that later, it's relevant...) Tonight, I think I'm just going to enjoy anime & my NEW CREDIT CARD!!! YAY!!! (It's my first, can you tell I'm excited?) WHOOO BIG LIMIT! (that i'm not going to EVER get even close to- not even 1/9 of it if I can help it!)

Sore Ja!

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