Home Consumer FTC Hits Job Leads Scammer Gigats With $90-Million Judgement

FTC Hits Job Leads Scammer Gigats With $90-Million Judgement

gigats

Updated May 19, 2024

From the FTC –

Beware of Job Search Scams That Come to You

The FTC has also warned of job scams that come via email. As I blogged in August of last year:

“If you get an email offering you a work-at-home position as a clerk, correspondent manager, or import/export specialist, beware.

Faith Based Events

“Those are the buzz words scammers are using these days to trick people into taking bogus jobs that involve illegal “work,” like wire transfers and accepting packages at your home, re-labeling the packages, then shipping them back out (no doubt filled with illegal materials).”

Think You’ve Been Scammed?

You have rights. Here’s how to submit a complaint to the FTC.

 

(April 29, 2016)

Today the FTC announced it’s first major “Education Lead Generator Scam” Case. It settled with Gigats.com, and hit them with a $90.2 Million Dollar Judgement.

File this under “It’s about Damn Time”

As the economy soured and jobs were being lost, businesses popped up everywhere..like so many “Job Fairs” targeting desperate unemployed workers with so-called “Job Leads” and “Hiring Fairs”. But my investigations found in most cases there were no actual jobs, and all they did was offer “job services, employment counseling, resume services and job courses/schooling” that cost applicants their hard earned savings and rarely, if ever, ending up with a new full-time, full benefits’ job. In most cases, any actual openings were for part-time, minimum wage or sales jobs with commissions.

“According to the FTC’s complaint, the operators of Gigats.com gathered online job announcements posted by multinational companies, government agencies and other employers, and summarized them on its website, which appeared to accept applications for the jobs. Many of the job openings were not current, and for those that were, the employers had not authorized Gigats to collect applications or screen or interview applicants. In addition, the defendants never sent the information they collected from consumers to the employers.

Instead, the FTC alleges, consumers, who had provided Gigats with the kinds of personal information typically requested in a job application, were directed to call the defendants’ “employment specialists,” who then steered the consumers toward enrolling in education programs that had paid the defendants for consumer leads.

Many consumers also were transferred to the defendants’ “education advisors.”

The FTC alleges that these so-called advisors falsely claimed to be independent education advisors but in fact only recommended schools and programs that had agreed to pay the defendants, typically from $22 to $125, for consumer leads that met their enrollment requirements.

The defendants are Expand Inc., also doing business as Gigats, EducationMatch and SoftRock Inc., and Ayman A. Difrawi, also known as Alec Difrawi and Ayman El-Difrawi.”
As I’ve been reporting for years, legitimate employment companies are usually paid by the businesses looking for employees and NOT the job applicants themselves.

Here’s the FTC release on Gigats

If you are job hunting, here’s some advice on how not to be scammed

 

[vc_message message_box_style=”3d” message_box_color=”turquoise”]By Al Sunshine, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Consumer Investigator, April 29, 2016[/vc_message]
Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.