Richard Beasley faces the death penalty in Ohio after luring three men to their deaths by posting fake job advertisements on the craigslist website. Beasley, a self-styled street preacher, shot three men who have been described as ‘down and outs’ by the US media. He sounds like Iain Duncan Smith’s kinda guy.
No blame has been attached to craigslist, who like the similar UK website gumtree, post extensive safety information for people looking for work online.
There is no such information on the Universal Jobmatch website. Even worse, because this is a government run website, many users may be lulled into a false sense of security. Claimants might assume that surely someone somewhere is checking whether the jobs posted are genuine and not scams, spam or the work of a deranged serial killer.
Sadly this is far from the case. Several scam vacancies have appeared on Universal Jobmatch, along with advertisements for sex workers – in breach of government policy and despite the website being available to under 18s – as well as a succession of spoof vacancies.
Whilst some vacancies can be applied for via the website, many just ask applicants to ring a mobile phone number or send them an email. Even worse bogus employers can use the CV search function to target marginalised claimants. Astonishingly if a man like Beasley exists in the UK, unemployed people could be forced to contact him by the Jobcentre or face benefits being stopped.
Universal Jobmatch seems to have become largely a goldmine for flaky sales companies offering self-employed jobs on a commission only basis. Most of the rest of the jobs available are simply reposts of jobs advertised with other recruitment sites such as CV Warehouse.
At the time of writing this piece, of the last 100 vacancies posted to Universal Jobmatch an astonishing 48 were spammy advertisements for Kleeneze and Infocus catalogue distributors. These are self-employed positions which require people to pay up front for the opportunity to possibly earn a pittance attempting to flog over-priced household products to friends and relatives.
There were also five positions advertised for company called Solar King. These were commission only jobs advertised as full time. According to Solar King the average commission earned for these full time positions is £160-320 a week – meaning some people are earning considerably less than minimum wage. To apply claimants are offered simply a mobile phone number or an email address to contact.
Whether one day that mobile phone number belongs a man like Richard Beasley does not appear to trouble Iain Duncan Smith in the slightest.
Get Safe Online is a government backed website promoting internet safety. If you have concerns about the safety of Universal Jobmatch they can be contacted at: https://www.getsafeonline.org/share-your-story/
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