Urgent Scam Alert Issued for for Blackshaw Search & Associates

June 21, 2013

June 21, 2013 -BBB Serving Northeast Florida & the Southeast Atlantic is issuing an urgent scam alert for Blackshaw Search & Associates for consumers nationwide. The company first came to BBB’s attention when a complaint was filed against them on June 6, 2013. As of 6/21/2013 two additional complaints have been filed with the same subject matter. The company claims to be an employment assistance firm with a long track record in helping multinational companies find new employees. Complainants allege they were contacted by the company, after posting resumes on various job hunting sites, and told a position was available that matched their skill set. The prospects were provided an online link to a pre-employment assessment test and told they must complete the test before the job would be offered. All complainants indicated that upon accessing the link, an attempt is made to sell them a downloadable study guide for the test. After downloading the study guide and taking the test, there has been no further contact from the company.

BBB investigation has uncovered the following facts. First, although the company, on their website, claims that “For years, we have been introducing multi-national companies…”, the company website www.bsaincorporated.com, was actually only registered on June 6, 2013 using a post office box address in Phoenix, AZ. The company claims to be located at One Independent Drive, Jacksonville, Fl. 32202. One Independent Drive is the location of multi-story office tower in downtown Jacksonville. Mail would not be delivered because there is no suite number listed for the company. A search with the City of Jacksonville tax records finds no business tax receipt for this company, a requirement if they do business legally in Jacksonville. Furthermore, a search with the State of Florida finds no corporate or fictitious name registration for Blackshaw Search & Associates.

It is clear this company is not located in Jacksonville as they claim. Moreover it is likely that this company does not exist in the USA. The company appears to exist only to sell the online study guide for their pre- employment assessment test. There is also a danger of ID theft due to the collection of personal ID information during the order process. Extreme caution is advised.

BBB offers the following tips when seeking employment online:

· Employer emails are rife with grammatical and spelling errors. Most online fraud is perpetrated by scammers located outside the U.S. Their first language usually isn’t English and this is often evident in their poor grasp of the language which can include poor grammar and the misspelling of common words.

· Emails purporting to be from job posting websites claiming there’s a problem with a job hunter’s account. After creating a user account on sites like Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com or Craigslist.com, a job hunter might receive an e-mail saying there has been a problem with their account or they need to follow a hyperlink to install new software. Phishing e-mails like this are designed to convince readers to click a link within the message to fix the issue, but actually take them to a website that will install malware or viruses on their computer.

· An employer asks for extensive personal information such as social security or bank account numbers. Some job seekers have been surprised to learn they’ve gotten a job without having to do a single interview. However, when the employer then asked for personal information in order to fill out the necessary paperwork suspicions were raised – and rightly so. Regardless of the reason or excuse given by the employer, a job applicant should never give out his or her Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or e-mail.

· An employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home. While there are legitimate businesses that allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and injured or handicapped people looking to make money at home. Job hunters should use extreme caution when considering a work-at-home offer and always research the company with their BBB first at http://www.bbb.org.

· An employer asks for money upfront. Aside from paying for a uniform, it is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job.  Predictably, after paying for the background check, the job seeker never hears from the company again.

· The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true. The adage holds true for job offers: if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little experience in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam.

· The job requires the employee to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram. Many phony jobs require the prospective employee to cash a check sent by the company through the mail and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity. Reasons given for this requirement vary from scam to scam. Whatever the reason though, the check might clear the employee’s bank account but will eventually turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers.

To check the reliability of a company or find trustworthy businesses visit bbb.org.

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Contact BBB serving Northeast Florida & the Southeast Atlantic at 800-713-6661