Tis the season for employment agency scams

I answered this question recently on another forum and thought it was worth revisiting here:

Q: Has anyone ever heard of the company called E1 Employment Services? They place ads for jobs in local papers but have a $185 fee for you to get a job through them. Is this a legit company? I called the number today for a job listed in distribution and the lady told me to come in tomorrow with a money order or credit card to sign up with them. She explained that this was a 1 year fee and that is all I pay. They guarantee they will find me a job in my field. She also told me if I wanted to donate some non-perishable food items, they would deduct $10 off my fee. What do you think? Should I try this or does it sound like a scam to you?   Zachlarry in Gray, Maine.

A:  I’m not familiar with this particular company, but I’d steer clear.   Guarantee or no, you should never pay employment agencies to get you work.  These firms are typically  paid by the companies that are hiring.  But just to be sure I checked with Barry Asin, president of Staffing Industry Analysts, which follows the employment placement industry.  Asin said he has no doubt that there are going to be “fly-by-night companies out there preying on desperate individuals now and that this sounds like one of them.  “No legitimate staffing firm out there is asking individuals for money to place them,” he said.  The same thing goes for companies that say they can find you a job if you have a record.  So if a business agency wants money first, just say no.  You’d be better off revisiting your local one-stop career center or community agencies in your area.  You can check them out here.    This article also offers a good run-down on scams to avoid. 

Anyone out there have a different experience?


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