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Jobs ads really a scheme to sell your info

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You’re job hunting online and see a job ad for a well-known company. It’s on a site that says it pre-screens people for big employers, like banks, government agencies, and multinational companies. You apply and get a message asking you to schedule an interview.

Not so fast. The “interview” is really a call designed to get you to enroll in specific colleges or career training programs. That’s the story behind the FTC’s complaint against Gigats — also doing business as Expand, Inc., EducationMatch and Softrock, Inc. According to the FTC, instead of interviewing or prescreening people for employers, Gigats ran a deceptive scheme to generate sales leads for its clients.

When companies gather information about people — not for themselves, but to sell to other companies — that’s lead generation. The lead generator finds people (leads) likely to be interested in buying a company’s products or services. It’s a legitimate business practice, but not if the lead generator lies about what it’s really up to.

In this case, says the FTC, if you “interviewed” with Gigats, you’d wind up talking with an education advisor. Why? To match you with a school they claimed could help you reach your career goals. But the only schools recommended were those that paid Gigats for leads. (And you still weren’t getting the job interview or pre-screening you expected.) Today, the FTC announced Gigats has agreed to settle the FTC’s charges and stop its deceptive practices.

If you’re looking for jobs or colleges online, remember that some sites promising to match you with the right job or college could be lead generation companies. Their results usually favor their paid clients. If you follow their advice, you might miss out on better, more affordable schools or programs that aren’t paying the company for leads.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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