“Let the user beware!”
That seems to be the message from the Department for Work and Pensions after a query over the legality of a firm advertising on the new Universal Jobmatch website.
The DWP is foisting Universal Jobmatch onto jobseekers across the UK, but it seems the site is not fit for purpose as it appears to allow criminals to advertise online in order to carry out identity theft.
The facts came to light after a friend, who’d be pushed into using the system, discovered a listing for ‘International Service Check’.
He wrote the following query: “The company International Service Check appears to be a scam. On the very first page they insist on a lot of very personal information, and stress that it must be correct, to have any chance of a getting work with them. This alerted me, along with a number of other unprofessional things on the website. So I Googled them. Please take a look –
“A lot of people have been scammed.
“So my first request is: please remove them immediately from the list.
“My second is: please instigate a serious enquiry into the processes which allowed them to be listed at all. You are encouraging the poorest […] people in the country to be ripped off. From my point of view, it also undermines my faith in your whole website and system.”
Here’s the reply:
“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Universal Jobmatch takes all such activity very seriously as part of our commitment to making our users’ experience on our site as safe as possible. Universal Jobmatch takes proactive measures to provide jobseekers with a safe job searching tool, but we also solely rely on our users to report these types of issues so that we may take appropriate action.”
In other words: “If you get conned, it’s not OUR problem!”
They continue: “The activity you are reporting is indeed against Universal Jobmatch’s Terms and conditions, and as such we will be following up with the client in question to address this issue.
“For more information on how to conduct a safe job search and how to detect online scams, please visit http://www.getsafeonline.org/.”
This is very poor, whichever way you look at it. Universal Jobmatch is a UK Government-sponsored system and therefore the government’s reputation rides on it – but rather than make sure personally that every job advertised is legal, they slap on anything they can and leave it to the proles to weed out the criminals.
As my friend put it: “You are encouraging the poorest […] people in the country to be ripped off.”