The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Worldwide Executive Job Search Solutions, LLC, PrivateEquityHeadhunters.com and their owner Craig Chrest accusing Chrest and his companies of contacting people through business networking websites such as LinkedIn and falsely claiming that they had exclusive relationships with hundred of private equity and venture capital firms and that the people they contacted were being considered as candidates for unadvertised, highly paid executive positions with these companies. Victims of the scam were told that in order to get an interview they had to pay upfront fees of as much as $2,500 to Chrest’s companies. Chrest’s companies also falsely claimed that they had more than an 80% placement rate. Unfortunately, Chrest and his companies had no relationships with private equity and venture capital firms and there were no job openings. Although Chrest’s companies did indeed provide interviews, the interviews were a sham and were done by Chrest’s associates rather than with the promised companies. It was all a scam.
Many legitimate job placement firms are paid by the hiring company rather than the job applicant, although there are some paid “headhunters” that may be paid by the job seeker. However, paying upfront fees for job placement services is often a sign that it is a scam. Also before hiring any job placement firm, research the firm including a simple search engine search using the name of the firm and the words “scam,”, “complaint” and “reviews” and see what turns up. You may also want to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations for job placement firms.
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