The Recruiter / ATS Scam is back.
This is the gist of the scam:
1. You are approached by a “recruiting” firm and told you are being considered for an executive job – they ask you to send your resume (and most likely sign a non-disclosure agreement).
2. You search for the “recruiting” firm, and you find a few recent press releases that they are actively recruiting folks.
3. You get back an email that your resume could not be loaded properly in their ATS, although they could open it. They send you a link to “score” your resume. (or just to a site to “fix” your resume for a fee – depending on how it was set up).
4. You load your resume (with NO job announcement) to be scored. It fails the “scorer.”
5. You are sent to a website that will “fix” your resume for a fee.
I will not name the websites involved since they change their names often – but are most likely all related to each other. They change the name of them when too many people post on the scam and/or they are shut down by law enforcement authorities. Note that the names of the websites might be similar to legitimate headhunters or recruiters that actually exist in their city or another location.
This scenario has been set up many times over the past few years. Note, in over ¾ of the cases, the resumes I have been sent are mostly “ATS-friendly” by folks who have sent me their resumes when I am asked about these sites.
These sites are FAKE. These folks are DANGEROUS. There have been articles on Forbes and Ask the Headhunter on them.
Red flags for these sites:
1. An ATS resume scorer without a job announcement is likely not valid. ATS score resumes based on a job announcement or job description.
2. If a recruiter recruited you, and the job will pay them likely $50,000+ to fill, they can hire someone to cut and paste the resume into the fields in their ATS (especially if they can open your resume).
3. If you do a WHOIS search, the ownership of the sites is hidden behind a privacy domain company so you cannot find out who they are.
4. If you carefully look at the physical address they list in their emails or on their website; it is not listed correctly in the way we would write an address in the United States. For example, it may list a neighborhood of a city in addition to a city name in the address, have a comma between the state and zip code, or other error (this does not happen each time).
5. There are only a few fairly recent press releases (even if the company goes back to 1996 – which seems like a common number for these sites).
6. You Google the images of their “recruiters,” and they match pictures of different people (perhaps even “recruiters’ on previous incarnations of the scam).