#1 Edited by nohthink (1223 posts) -

I know this has nothing to do with video games but I asked my friends and others but they have not been able to give me a clear answer.  
 
So I have been applying for entry level marketing jobs. Something business related and since I have been unemployed for a year and a half(it has been rough), I am desperate every time when I get a phone call from a company. 
 
Sadly, there are people who try to take advantages of people like me by creating fake companies(even with fake websites and fake twitter accounts). I have received phone calls from a couple of them (Vector marketing, being the most infamous one) and I make sure I back out before I fell too deep and unable to get out. 
 
Today, I got a phone call from a company called "Black Operations Inc." Maybe because I played too many video games but that did not sound like a legitimate company name. I googled the company and so far, I have not found anything that suggests that the company is fake nor a scam. Not even a single person who wrote about "horrible experiences" they had with "Black Operations Inc." The company does have an official website but the front page has a low res picture as the main background, which makes me think that there is something shady about this company. Here is the official website. 
 
Next Monday, I have to go to New York City for an interview. It's about 5 hours drive so it's not really something I am looking forward to do for a fake company or a scam but so far, I have not found any hard evidence to prove that "Black Operations Inc." is a fake company. 
 
So duders! I ask for your help! I want to know if this company is legit or not. Like I said before, I have been unemployed for a year and a half and I really wish this is a legitimate company that will give me an opportunity. Please help me guys!   
 
40 Exchange Place, Suite 600, New York, NY, 10005 
 
That is the street address and it is located near the famous Wall Street area. I am sorry to bother you guys for this unnecessary thing but I am very desperate. Please let me know if this company is a fake company or not. PM me, leave a comment, do whatever is necessary. Thanks! 
 
 Edit: 
 
Problem solved, guys! Turns out it IS a fake company. Any companies that use  40 Exchange Place, Suite 600, New York, NY, 10005 as its address is a fake company(Northstar, Black Operations Inc. etc). So if you're in New York City area, and see that address, just ignore it. Also, thanks for all the encouragements guys! I feel like that is exactly what I needed! :)

#2 Edited by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -
#3 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -
@Dagbiker: Yes! I just did that too! God bless Google. Northstar is also a fake company. I guess that is a universal address that fake companies use. Sigh.... Makes me sad
#4 Posted by believer258 (11634 posts) -

"It's gonna be about a girl, he's gonna twist this is into a story about a girl somehow, there's no way this avatarless guy I never see isn't posting about a gi...

Ah, goddamn it, it's not about a girl".

#5 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -
@believer258: LOL Sorry to disappoint you
#6 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

@believer258: You just wanted a casting couch story?

#7 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2308 posts) -

Legitimate or not there's no way I would ever do business with a company called Black Operations.

Online
#8 Posted by believer258 (11634 posts) -

@nohthink said:

@believer258: LOL Sorry to disappoint you

Ah, well. I guess some part of me is glad to see a post that says "Help, this has nothing to do with video games but..." post that also isn't asking for girl help. But another is saddened that it isn't.

Anyway, throw my vote in for "this sounds shady". Honestly, any website that isn't a local company that has a low-res background is almost definitely shady. Stop falling for these. You could do well with changing your e-mail address and phone number to get away from it. I've gotten that Vector marketing one in the mail before and it's a load of shit.

#9 Posted by psylah (2162 posts) -

@Turtlebird95 said:

Legitimate or not there's no way I would ever do business with a company called Black Operations.

Racist.

#10 Posted by MistaSparkle (2148 posts) -

Vector is fake!? They stand outside my old high school and hand out their pamphlets for summer jobs around the last few weeks of school. That's pretty fucked if what you're saying is true. Really sorry for your troubles with finding a job, though too man. That's tough. I'm going to need to start looking soon too... :(

#11 Posted by SoylentGreen (254 posts) -

@nohthink: Why do these fake companies try to bring people like you in? Seems like too much work for just a laugh...tax reasons?

#12 Edited by nohthink (1223 posts) -
@MistaSparkle: Link 
 
Vector Marketing has been sued numerous times. The problem is that they make you pay for the products that you are supposed to sell by going door to door or in anyway possible. While it is not technically "illegal," it exploits college students or unemployed youths by locking them into a contract and forcing them to pay. 
#13 Posted by TheVideoHustler (406 posts) -

@SoylentGreen: Identity theft is most common.

#14 Edited by wjb (1637 posts) -

That's something you learn once you get your degree in marketing and start going on job search sites. Your best bet is to search established companies with marketing departments instead of trying your luck with ones with fake-sounding names or descriptions like "SPORTS MARKETING" ("Duh, I like sports!"). You end up going for an interview and realize the "office" looks like something at the end of Boiler Room and it's telemarketing or cold calling or worse.

So basically, avoid anything with "Marketing" in its name (ironic), especially when the word in front of it is superfluous like "Ocean" or "Vector".

EDIT: Also anything that expects you to go to a seminar with a bunch of people (like Amway) instead of an actual one-on-one interview.

#15 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -
@SoylentGreen: What they do is that they bring people like me in and have an interview to see whether they(in this case, me) will come or not. If they come, the companies know that they lack resources to check on the internet and what not. After the first interview, they set a second interview and it is during that second interview that the company lock those people  by tricking them into signing a contract. They will say something like "sign this document to prove that you were here and I interviewed you." At that point, you are forced to pay a certain amount of money for "training" and receive products that you are forced to sell in anyway you can. If you try to get out, they will say "you singed the contract so if you want to break the contract, you will have to pay." That is how hiring scam works. 
#16 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

@SoylentGreen said:

@nohthink: Why do these fake companies try to bring people like you in? Seems like too much work for just a laugh...tax reasons?

Is it a pyramid scheme? Lot of those around nowadays. They get paid not by selling the product, but finding people to sell products.

#17 Edited by Petiew (1331 posts) -

If you check out their twitter account it looks like its a bot just auto-reposting stories and the low res graphics on their web page don't exactly scream professional. Though It could just be a small start up company, judging from their facebook page. 
 
I don't have any experience with this kind of thing. Do people create fake companies? What's the purpose? Collecting your personal information or something?
Edit: nevermind, you explained it above.

#18 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2308 posts) -
@psylah said:

@Turtlebird95 said:

Legitimate or not there's no way I would ever do business with a company called Black Operations.

Racist.

I was thinking more of a shady government group, but okay.
Online
#19 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -
@Jams: It is closer to a pyramid scheme. The difference is that pyramid scheme can(even though the chance it slim) still allow you to make money if you dig yourself deeply into the system. But something like Vector or Black Operations Inc, forces you to work for a "fake" company and make you pay them. That's how they make money.
#20 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

You probably won a Black Ops II contest.

#21 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@nohthink said:

@MistaSparkle: Link Vector Marketing has been sued numerous times. The problem is that they make you pay for the products that you are supposed to sell by going door to door or in anyway possible. While it is not technically "illegal," it exploits college students or unemployed youths by locking them into a contract and forcing them to pay.

I attended two days of their training seminar and scored a sick set of cutlery for cheap. Never looked back and I still use the knives!

#22 Posted by laserbolts (5311 posts) -

Well it's obviously been established that this is fake but I figured I'd drop in and say good luck in your job hunt. Being unemployed fucking sucks a big one.

#23 Posted by csl316 (8110 posts) -

Yikes, reminds me of my search for jobs a while back. You really do need to do research these days, especially when it comes to sales offers.

And if you do get a marketing offer, just keep in mind that if it's their job to make things look appealing. Don't fall for "you'll make $60k in six months!" kinds of things if the people in the office look completely miserable.

#24 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

This thread is making me kinda nervous. I just recently accepted a job at a small web developing company and the thought of fake companies never crossed my mind.

#25 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Thanks OBAMA

#26 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

If you phone and Ice Cube picks up then you know it ain't legit, but it is LEGIT, if you know what I'm sayin'

#27 Posted by ShaggE (6331 posts) -

@Turtlebird95 said:

@psylah said:

@Turtlebird95 said:

Legitimate or not there's no way I would ever do business with a company called Black Operations.

Racist.

I was thinking more of a shady government group, but okay.

That's the joke.

#28 Posted by Undeadpool (4908 posts) -

@believer258 said:

"It's gonna be about a girl, he's gonna twist this is into a story about a girl somehow, there's no way this avatarless guy I never see isn't posting about a gi...

Ah, goddamn it, it's not about a girl".

My thoughts EXACTLY.

#29 Posted by Soap (3565 posts) -

Good luck with the job hunt man, I was unemployed for around a year and a half as well and it can get pretty rough, eventually your biggest obstacle just becomes how long you have been unemployed (which becomes a bit of a catch 22)

Also, call me super naive here, but what exactly do these people get out of offering job interviews for companies that don't exist? Is their a fake job at the end of it to? Or is it just some elaborate real world trolling?

#30 Posted by JackSukeru (5903 posts) -

Ha! This is like how it was in that one anime.

That was a good anime.

#31 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

Tell her you love her.

#32 Posted by konig_kei (597 posts) -

Taken from the website "They flew us in on Thursday where an amazing convertible Chrystler 200 was ready for pick up outside the airport’s doors and arranged for us to check-into our state of the art Westin hotel rooms,” says the CEO of Black Operations Inc. " LEGIT!

#33 Posted by RunningRaptor (16 posts) -

Even though the problem has been solved, the mention of Vector makes me laugh.

I had a couple of friends who "worked" there a little while back, and it seemed so insane. As mentioned, they had to pay for the knives that they were to demo to people to sell them. When you sold them, instead of being paid in, like, real money, you were paid in "Cutco Bucks", to buy more knives. Also the "office" was a tiny building in a bad part of town. Even though those assholes gave them my name and number for them to try to recruit me, I am still glad they got out while they could.

#34 Posted by tripmills (23 posts) -

Black Operations Inc listing with NY Secretary of State. linky

Total legit registration, but the part on the bottom right seems really odd to me.

A Fictitious name must be used when the Actual name of a foreign entity is unavailable for use in New York State. The entity must use the fictitious name when conducting its activities or business in New York State.
#35 Posted by DonutFever (3550 posts) -

Go to the meeting.  
 
Just, like, bring a gun. 

#36 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

@nohthink said:

@SoylentGreen: What they do is that they bring people like me in and have an interview to see whether they(in this case, me) will come or not. If they come, the companies know that they lack resources to check on the internet and what not. After the first interview, they set a second interview and it is during that second interview that the company lock those people by tricking them into signing a contract. They will say something like "sign this document to prove that you were here and I interviewed you." At that point, you are forced to pay a certain amount of money for "training" and receive products that you are forced to sell in anyway you can. If you try to get out, they will say "you singed the contract so if you want to break the contract, you will have to pay." That is how hiring scam works.

Wow, that is scummy as hell.

#37 Edited by Fbomb (1168 posts) -

@nohthink: If you want to get into marketing, you need sales experience first--companies want people, even with Academic backgrounds in marketing, to have sales experience to apply to their work. Get into sales in the field where you want to work. For example, if you want to market fast moving consumer goods, get a sales job at a Unilever or Pepsi co, etc, and chart your career path from there. holding out for a break in marketing without building sales experience is going to get exponentially harder. Get into sales, as a route into marketing. I work at one of the biggest global companies in the world, and our entire marketing department has sales experience. Just a helpful FYI.

#38 Posted by Athadam (673 posts) -

Don't know why the Better Business Bureau just doesn't shut down these fake companies on a whim.

I still don't get why "Multi-Level-Marketing" companies aka pyramid schemes, like USANA, Herbalife, and a huge number of others still continue to exist. They literally steal money from their associates and give it back to their top executives.

Sometimes I wish the feds can just get past the BS laws and loopholes and call out things for what they really are.

#39 Edited by Counterclockwork87 (603 posts) -

@nohthink said:

@SoylentGreen: What they do is that they bring people like me in and have an interview to see whether they(in this case, me) will come or not. If they come, the companies know that they lack resources to check on the internet and what not. After the first interview, they set a second interview and it is during that second interview that the company lock those people by tricking them into signing a contract. They will say something like "sign this document to prove that you were here and I interviewed you." At that point, you are forced to pay a certain amount of money for "training" and receive products that you are forced to sell in anyway you can. If you try to get out, they will say "you singed the contract so if you want to break the contract, you will have to pay." That is how hiring scam works.

But if you got tricked into signing a contract with one of these super scammy companies couldn't you just...not pay. What are they gonna do, call the cops?

This reminds me of something similar that happened to me once. I was really in a bad place (depressed at the time, now I'm fine) and went on a random casting call in Manhattan. I knew it was fishy and when I got there it was a bunch of people in a room and they brought me into the office of a guy who looked like a used car salesman. He said he could get me into movies as an extra and I needed to pay him 60 bucks to go on his website database. I said I didn't have any money, and he eventually got me to fork over 20 bucks (I basically just did it to shut him up). I was then shuffled into another room where a guy took pics of me...they then hit me with a bill for the pictures he just took and I needed to pay him ASAP. I said I didn't have any money and he got pretty pissed and I said I'd "pick up the pictures later". He let me go, and I never went back. Still haven't heard back from them, guess they didn't care I "owed" them money.

So, if you got stuck in a contract I'd say just don't pay, I don't see how they could do anything....but I'm no lawyer.

#40 Posted by thomasnash (539 posts) -

@Counterclockwork87: Scams like this rely on you being too poor, too stupid or too desperate to realise you have options. I sincerely doubt it would be difficult to build a class action case against a company like this, because I'm pretty certain that (here in the UK at least) a contract is considered void if you're tricked into signing it. Informed Consent must come into it, if they literally tell you that you are signing something "just to say I interviewed you" but it's a contract committing you to buy a certain volume of product.

I don't know if I've seen anything quite that shady in the UK, but it makes me pretty angry that Avon seem to have built up an image of actually being a respectable, viable career option. Buy a case of makeup, charge you for all of the stuff that you can actually sell on top of that, then cut you loose. All of the adverts making out like you can start up a legit small business and make bank off of it. The ads are always like "WANT TO EARN UP TO 300k a year!?!?!?! Then sign up to be an Avon reprasentative."

I'm in the same situation as you, although I only finished uni 2 months ago. Luckily my partner went through all this last year, so from seeing her struggle with the job market I've gotten pretty good at identifying the job listings that are shady door-to-door sales jobs or outbound telesales. Generally speaking the markers seem to be

a) They make the most noise about being Graduate positions (no mate, they fucking aren't). My brother was telling me that the recruitment guys at his office actually aren't all that bothered about graduates because they find that frequently they are too cocky to be immediately useful.

b) Ludicrous salary claims with a really wide range eg "8-40k a year!!!" which I guess they are allowed to say because it's all based on commission, so ignoring the fact that literally everyone hates unsolicited door-to-door or telesales and will never buy something from you, yes, technically it might be possible.

c) They call themselves "marketing and sales" or "brand ambassador/awareness" or something. Given the line of work you're looking at, and your location, this probably doesn't apply to you. I live in a relatively provincial city so PR firms and Advertising agencies are thin on the ground here, so these jobs literally do not exist in this form. Legit postings for stuff like this will always be listed in a more specific way because it will be as part of the marketing or sales team of a small business. Like I say, this is probably less true in and around New York or London or whatever.

I realise this is probably not new information, but I kind of needed to vent about it anyway. The long and the short of it is basically that I feel you, mang. It's a shitty situation that there are people willing to exploit your circumstances like this, and even more shitty that no one seems to care enough to do anything about it. If you're of the economically conservative bent you can't even defend the lack of intervention as allowing wealth creators to do their job or easing off to instil greater confidence in the economy or whatever. These people contribute absolutely nothing to society or to the economy. They produce nothing, they provide nothing of value, and certainly not at a value, and they contribute nothing to the improvement of the workforce. All they contribute to is the pervading feeling that every individual is in a state of siege with the world.

(sidebar: Americans are the only people I have ever heard use the phrase "Fiscally conservative but socially liberal." Kind of interested in why that is)