Universal Jobcon verdict: Caveat User

“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.”

11 thoughts on “Universal Jobcon verdict: Caveat User

  1. Greg

    Well I certainly accept that I’m one of the poorer members of our society. I don’t agree that with this comes the implication that somehow I have below average intelligence. On the contrary at the last time of testing (about 3 years ago) my IQ was rated at 147. This was at a time when I was suffering one of the worst bouts of insomnia I’ve ever had. This type of acute insomnia has a dramatic effect on the brains ability to deal with information & respond to stimuli. I’ve been told that its possible to add up to an extra 10 points to the results given the situation. This concurs with my highest IQ test that i took which recorded a score of 155 at a time when I wasn’t burdened with insomnia.
    I freely admit that the inference of a correlation between wealth & intelligence wasn’t meant, but it certainly exists as the article is read. In essence I feel “your friend” should take greater care in the words he/she chooses to use.

    For those who wish to argue the validity of a standardised IQ test. I will point out that the test is valid for use on people from a western background. The inconsistencies occur when you try to use this test to define the latent intelligence of someone who was not raised in a typically western environment & education system. As I am white British & have lived my entire life in Britain the tests I have taken would be deemed valid in my case.

    Rant over, thank you for your patience :0)

    1. Mike Sivier

      I took the offending words out. They detract from the message of the article. I like to include quotes verbatim if I can, but clearly this was open to adverse interpretation (I don’t think he meant it that way – obviously my friend is a user of the system himself).

      1. Greg

        I apologise if I high jacked the comments with my “rant” :0)
        I think I might’ve been being a bit sensitive, fed up of being considered the lowest form of scum just because I have a disability. Though I understand completely that there is no inference of this in your article. There is a pervasive thought in general society that we are “scum”. I think your article got a bit of emotional overflow from me & wrongly distracts from the essence of your message. I’ve had complex post traumatic stress dissorder that has been acute since childhood, so I never had a chance to fully realise my potential. My uncle who recently developed ME & is now registered disabled, used to lecture at Edinburgh University & many people have vastly different opinions between him & I. I hope you can sympathise & understand that when your backs against the wall you can come out fighting, even if your target isn’t actually your enemy. Anyway I apologise I came across a bit full on.

      2. Mike Sivier

        No worries. I think my friend was trying to say that the less intelligent jobseekers, and the poorest, would be most likely to be caught by scam or otherwise-illegal adverts on the Universal Jobmatch site because the first group would not have the intellectual faculties necessary to become suspicious and the second group would be too concerned with the need to earn money whichever way they can. The hole in the argument is that many are likely to trust everything on the site automatically because they have been told to use it by the government.
        Unfortunately, while in the past it may have been reasonable to assume a government-sponsored site would pass muster, with the bandits currently in power, that is certainly no longer the case.

  2. Mike Sivier

    Stark Raving Socialist commented on Facebook with some very important information: “I told them I wasn’t registering, because I have a post grad in computer programming for the web, and I read the terms and conditions. Read them. The first thing they say is we will share your info with anyone we see fit if you use the site. This means just showing uo there, and my IP address will be collected to identify regional traffic, and any pages I view will be added to that data, and I wouldn’t have even registered. Their terms go on to mention many ways they will share your info, and state they have not yet decided if there are further ways to share it. Nobody should ever give ANY page all their most personal details under terms like that. Compare the language to commercial job sites (Reed etc.) They specify how much sharing occurs, and how long they will keep your data after you stop using the service. Also their terms are complete, no surprise additions after you read them the first time. This site does not need scammers to make it worse. It is built by scammers. The info they are gathering is top quality and is worth a fortune on the open market. Also… ads on real sites are paid for. Jobsearch is free, any f*cker can join iin the fun.”

  3. Joan

    As a light divergence from this thread, Mike, when I started to read your last post, I really thought that you were describng Facebook’s terms & conditions. Maybe UJ used them as a basis for their’s .

Comments are closed.