Friday, December 26, 2014

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NY1 For You: Summer Job Applicant Pays Dear Price For Unexpected Training

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After responding to an online job posting and paying out of pocket, a college student learned that he was not applying for a job at all. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

College student Graham Davis thought he found the perfect summer job on Craigslist – a listing for corporate security that said, "Looking for a front desk clerk. No experience necessary."

The company, Urban Dynamics, soon had Davis paying out of pocket.

"Originally, they told me I needed to bring $100 for just security certification," said Davis. "And I figured, if it’s security, the state might need to see some sort of certification."

As a result, Davis paid $100 and turned over his personal information, including his Social Security number.

"Then he started talking to me about $250 for fire safety training, another $200 for crowd control training and another $100 for electronic surveillance. So this is when I first started to realize that something was fishy here," Davis said.

He demanded his money back, but the interviewer refused to give Davis back his money or personal information.

"I really had no choice but to leave, and I called 311 and NY1," says Davis.

After Davis contacted NY1, the station called Urban Dynamics. A representative told NY1 it is a legitimate business that is registered with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. He went on to say training is not free and the company does not guarantee job placement, but does guarantee job placement assistance.

Company officials consider themselves recruiters, according to the representative.

That certainly different from how the ad on Craigslist reads.

NY1 reached out to the New York Metro Better Business Bureau, which gives Urban Dynamics an "F" rating. A BBB spokesperson told NY1 that the agency received complaints from applicants who felt misled.

"Many of these people feel that they’ve been led to believe that there are likely jobs out there," said NY Metro BBB Senior Vice President Walter Brewster. "On top of that, a number of the people who have gone through the program and complained to us have said that they were sent to interviews at businesses in New York City, saying you should go talk to these people about a job. When they show up for the interview, the people at the company say, 'Why are you here? We’ve never heard of you, we don’t know who this person is who’s being sent here, and we don’t have any jobs.' So it seems as though people are being led astray."

NY1 will continue to follow this story.

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