MUSKEGO, Wis. – Retailers will hire more than 600,000 seasonal workers this year, according to the National Retail Federation.
A Muskego woman recently learned that not all job offers are legitimate. After her IM job interview, she wrote to Contact 6.
“I’m not the only one looking for a part-time job,” said Kathy Pickett. “I thought maybe it was too good to be true.”
Pickett says she was scrolling on Facebook when she spotted the job posting. This was a home data entry position for Hobby Lobby.
“He would say, ‘if you’re interested in a part-time or full-time position, please contact me with a private message saying you’re interested,'” Pickett recalled. “I thought, Hobby Lobby? It’s rather fun. I could do that.”
Pickett was instructed to download a messaging app. His interview took place via the messaging system. Interview questions were not unusual at first.
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Next, Pickett was asked about her credit cards and banking. She was asked to send a picture of her driver’s license, even though she hadn’t spoken to a live person yet.
“I said, ‘no, I’m really uncomfortable sharing this information,'” Pickett said. She said, “Oh, you don’t have to worry. You can trust us.”
Pickett refused the job and ended the conversation.
Contact 6 contacted the recruiter Pickett thought he had contacted. AlphaSights told Contact 6 it does not recruit for Hobby Lobby and has never interviewed Pickett.
“We do not hire via Skype or Facebook and do not collect financial information as a pre-requisite to hiring,” wrote Bee Patel, communications manager for AlphaSights. “AlphaSights is in no way affiliated with Hobby Lobby.”
Hobby Lobby did not respond to Contact 6’s request for comment.
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The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) administrator advises consumers to be wary of any jobs posted on social media.
“If you can’t verify the authenticity of the person you’re talking to or engaging with, you shouldn’t engage,” said DATCP administrator Lara Sutherlin.
Lara Sutherlin, DATCP Administrator
Sutherlin says job applicants should never provide personal banking information during interviews. They should also avoid jobs that require employees to spend money upfront.
“By having to pay for training materials that should otherwise be free,” Sutherlin said, giving an example.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned consumers against employment scams through messaging apps.
Response from Bee Patel, AlphaSights Communications Manager
“AlphaSights has no affiliation with anyone claiming to recruit through private channels on Facebook, such as the person mentioned in your email. We have an employee named [omitted] however, [she] has not been in contact with a person named Kathleen regarding employment opportunities. Further, AlphaSights is in no way affiliated with Hobby Lobby and does not provide recruitment assistance or services of any kind to Hobby Lobby.
We have explicitly informed potential candidates of our recruitment process on our Facebook page:
‘Please note that AlphaSights only recruits through our official email address domain: “@alphasights.com.“If you are contacted by someone outside of this domain, we advise you not to share any information and to report any such communication to the appropriate authorities. Please note that we do not hire via Skype or Facebook and do not collect financial information information as a pre-employment requirement For a complete list of open positions, please visit: alphasights.com/careers/open-positions.’
For reference, we also have a note included on our LinkedIn page:
‘Please note that AlphaSights communicates exclusively via email via the AlphaSights domain, @alphasights.com, LinkedIn and phone (including SMS, WhatsApp and WeChat). Any communications you receive that claim to be from AlphaSights but were sent from another email domain (e.g. Gmail or Hotmail) or via other forms of social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram , Twitter or Telegram) are likely to be fraudulent. If in doubt as to whether you have received genuine communication from AlphaSights, please contact us at https://www.alphasights.com/contact/.‘”