Alliance For Affordable Services / Scamming both customers and job seekers
Due to some admittedly questionable decisions on my part coupled with the economic downturn that has occurred I have been out of full-time work since November 15th, 2008. In that time, and part of the reason why I am out of full-time work, I have been working part-time. However; as almost anyone realizes these days that is not enough to provide any sort of living.
In the almost full three months since I have been out of full-time work I have sent out multiple, on average six, resumes a day. This of course is assuming that there are any job leads either online or in my local newspaper. The number of these has been dwindling.
Of course, on top of a shortage of jobs in my area also means that there is greater competition for what is available. Therefore, I have not been receiving many call backs because I either do not have the educational background, I have an Associate's Degree, or the practical experience; because I never really used my degree.
That being said I was very excited when I received an email the other day from the Divisional Sales Leader in York for LMH Solutions. Initially I thought nothing of the fact that this person, who found my resume online, didn't just call me. Nor did I give it any thought that there was no phone number or office address to contact her. I was just so happy that I was being "recruited."
However, because I have received scam job offers before I, through the use of Google, found a website for LMH Solutions. I found the site to be very difficult to navigate and exceptionally vague. I couldn't tell whether it was a staffing agency that I had not heard of or an insurance contractor or what. My next step was to go to www.BBBonline.com (Better Business Bureau) and attempt to find out more about this company. The BBB did have a listing for an LMH Solutions out of Orem, Utah. They do not have an accreditation with the BBB and have a ranking of C. The C ranking is only because the BBB has no good or bad information on them. Also, when I googled the companies name no scam reports came up.
Based on that I figured that I would take a chance and forward them my resume. I assumed that it was a sales job which really isn't what I am looking for but times are hard and getting harder and since one of the things that they pointed out in their initial email is that you are calling on prospects who want to hear from you I figured that it would at least be a job devoid of cold-calling which I hate.
Here are the emails that have gone back and forth. I am copy and pasting them so everything that you read is exactly as I read, replied, and was replied to. I have, I believe, removed all email addresses and names to make sure that I am not violating this websites policies.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:23:42 PM GMT -05:00 Columbia
Subject: Career Outside Sales Opportunity (Greater York, PA Area),
We are seeking qualified candidates to fill 'Outside Sales Representative' and 'Leadership' roles in the Dover area. After reviewing your resume online, I feel you have some of the necessary qualifications to be a candidate for a position with us.
As the next step, I would like to conduct an interview at our Divisional Sales Office in York to review specific details about the positions, including compensation, company leads, training, products, as well as to discuss your background and how you feel you can become an asset to our team.
Please respond back by e-mailing me at, (include your name and phone number), to set up a time to meet either this week or next. I look forward to hearing from you.
Divisional Sales Leader
York, PA 17405
SALES REPRESENTATIVE DESCRIPTION:
* Immediate weekly income
* Call on prospects who have requested to see you
* Professional Training
* Prestigious Products and Services
* Personal Sales and Leadership Development
* Advancement Opportunities (Management)
* Company Sponsered Stock Ownership Program
* Bonus Programs and Trips
* Annual average income is between $50, 000 - $85, 000
Serious responses only please; we are exclusively interested in ethical, professional, trainable, motivated individuals. We have a proven method of success available; we are seeking qualified candidates to fill these positions.
If you wish to no longer receive job opportunities from this business Click Here to be removed.
On Feb 11, 2009, at 4:58 AM, wrote:
Thank you very much for contacting me with regard to the 'Outside Sales Representative' and 'Leadership' roles that may be available in the Dover area. In the event that you need it for any reason I have attached my resume.
Based on the job description that you included in your email I would be very interested in meeting with you to discuss the position(s) in more detail.
I can be reached at (Area) Phone Number. If for some reason I am unable to answer please be so kind as to leave a message with a contact number and I will return your call as soon as possible.
I look very forward to hearing from you.
Here is the email I received this morning as follow-up on this:
Thank you for your response to the Career Opportunity with Mrs. . She has asked me to get you started in the interview process on Tuesday, February 17th at 9:45 AM. We hope this scheduled time will work for you?
If so, please plan to arrive 10 minutes early if possible, to allow time for you to complete a preliminary information form prior to the interview. Please bring a copy of your resume and dress in professional business attire.
Our address is 100 Leader Heights Road, Suite C | York, PA | 17403.
Please note that this is an invitation to interview for a full-time outside sales position. We cannot consider applicants who have been convicted of a felony.
Feel free to review our association's website, Alliance for Affordable Services®, to learn more about the services we offer our clients.
Please confirm your appointment via email reply.
I choose SUCCESS, BE DRIVEN!
President / CEO
This is where the red flags start going up.
The first thing that struck me about this email was that it came from the same email address as the initial email, from, and mentioned meeting with her this upcoming Tuesday but was "drafted" by a different individual. Along with that why would the President / CEO be setting up appointments for entry level positions? Why wouldn't the Divisional Sales Leader? And even if there is a legitimate reason for the President / CEO doing a task that does not seem like something he / she would be using their time on than why didn't he / she use their own email?
The next thing that occurred to me was the address where the interviews where taking place. This specifically pertains to me in my area but...That address seemed very similar, although I can't say for certain identical, to an address that I went to when I was in my late teens / early twenties where it was an attempt to recruit door-to-door vacuum salespeople. The particular address that they gave is an area that is right off of an interstate and has some homes that were converted into offices where things like this creep up. One final note on the address issue is that if you look at the first email that I received the zip code is different than on the last email that I received. Since I could not find any address listing or phone number online or in my phone book for this organization I can't imagine that the two zip codes is because they are so large that in the city of York, which is a relatively small city, they need multiple offices.
Then I got to the part that made me really start questioning, and researching, the company. The fact that I was originally contacted for a position for LMH Solutions, which had that vague website, and now I am giving the Alliance for Affordable Services link to review which is equally vague.
Finally I still have not spoken to anyone nor do I have a phone number to speak to anyone. I have two different names, one email address, and a street address.
All of these things started making me feel very uneasy so I decided to do some research. That is when I uncovered a few [redacted]s on this site. When I read and reviewed them the only difference that I found was that the other posters received their original emails from Cornerstone America and mine were from LMH Solutions.
But before jumping the gun I did further research using www.BBBonline.com (Better Business Bureau) to make sure that this wasn't some other people that were scorned in some way. Here's what I found:
There are fourteen listings on the BBB site for Alliance for Affordable Services. The description of these listings ranges from Non-profit Org, Lawyer Services, Health Insurance, Charity, General Business Services, Advertising Agencies and Counselors, and Senior Citizen's Service Organization. Now I will gladly concede that, given the fact that most of the listings were in different states that they could be unrelated, but I also noticed a lot of similarities in what I read and also the information that I got from the other posters. Their ratings, BBB rates on an A - F scale with a possible NR, range from an A, which is respectable, to an F. I would say, without officially calculating it, in all honesty that the average rating for these listings was a B. This however does not mean that they are accredited by or endorsed by the BBB. It mostly means that the BBB does not have significant information.
The most telling thing I found was this however. There is one listing, the first one, on the BBB that has a rating of a C-. More importantly they have 31 complaints filed against them in the last 36 months. I compared the address of this BBB listing to the one that is on the contact page of the vague website that they sent me a link to and guess what...That's right; they're exactly the same.
Needless to say; I will not be attending the interview that was emailed to me. And hopefully anyone taking the time to read this will do likewise and stay clear of this apparent scam. I'm glad I read the reports I did which made me take a closer look.