Education Lead-Gen Scam

Watch out for a job-hunting / education lead-gen scam making rounds again.  If you’ve posted your resume on a job board like Monster, Yahoo HotJobs, etc. (and who hasn’t, in this biz?), you’ll soon receive a personalized e-mail from www.instanthumanresources.com describing an open position from “Vector Point Solutions” or similar.  To apply, just click on the link to fill out a form on the Instant HR site (which basically won’t allow you to do anything else except register for this job).  And wait for a reply, which never comes.

Where does the education lead generation come in?  Clue:  at the bottom of the form is a choice requiring a selection:

Instant HR has found that employers constantly name education as one of the top three factors in determining whether to hire someone. If you are serious about your career and your education we have compiled a list of some of the top universities in your area that can provide you with free information. Instant Human Resources has no direct or indirect relationship with these universities.

– I would like to find out more about educational opportunities. (Please only select if you are serious about exploring educational opportunities)

– No, I do not feel additional education would benefit me at this time (Not receiving information will in no way affect your ability to post your resume or receive offers on our site)

I’m betting that the job does not exist, and the application is a ruse – meant purely to get job hunters to enter their contact info and have their lead sold to for-profit educational institutions.   I doubt the schools sanction this method and have no idea where the leads come from – probably via an affiliate network.  Say the lead is sold to 3-4 schools; that’s anywhere from $50-$100-$150 in revenue to the lead-gen company.  Users who apply might also end up on other e-mail lists and lead-gen offers.

A good example of traffic arbitrage, but with bad ethics.  Instead of buying traffic (e.g. users) using banner ads on Hotmail, say, Instant HR buys or harvests names and e-mails from the online resume sites.  They convert a percentage of these into education leads and make a profit if the conversion % is high enough.  Their website looks just legit enough that they’re able to buy leads from the job sites (who after all, also make money selling job seeker leads).

Think the job application is still legit?  See if you can find the Vector Point Solutions “employer” in Google:
www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22vector+point+solutions%22

Read what others have to say on Scam.com:
www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=17166&highlight=vector+point
www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=7675
This has been going around for about a year under different guises.

As GM of Degrees.com, one of our primary goals was to professionalize the education lead-gen industry.  There are plenty of good, professional lead-gen companies out there who serve a legitimate need to find prospective students for schools, but examples like this show there is still a lot of junk.  These guys poison the well.

My advice?

  • Don’t include too much personal info in your online resume posts; assume it will get into the “wrong” hands.
  • Don’t submit further information on a job site unless you are confident the site is legit.
  • Watch out when ticking a box for more information; you’re giving permission to be contacted for a variety of unrelated offers.

“Surfer Beware”

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2 Responses to Education Lead-Gen Scam

  1. Jay W says:

    Thanks, Ken for sharing. I found this in their terms and conditions –
    “Upon your purchase of a product offered by the Company, you are authorized to download a single copy of the material from company’s web site(s) solely for your personal, noncommercial use. ” Quite amazing this group.

  2. Maximus says:

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic

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