Watch out for fake Walmart job emails

You get an email saying you have a job interview waiting for you.

“This is my 3rd attempt to reach you to verify your interview with WAL✶MART!” it reads.

$22 an hour — not too bad!

But this email is fake.

We track down the company behind this email in New York City — and show you what’s really going on.

Watch here:

 

You’ve Got Mail

If you need a job, this could be great news.

This email urges you to confirm your interview with Walmart for a job that pays much better than minimum wage.

“WAL✶MART INTERVIEW for Kerry — $22/HOUR!” the email tells me. “Confirm your time slot below ASAP, as these $22/HOUR positions are filling quickly!”

There’s just one problem.

I never applied for a job at WalMart.

And I haven’t put my resume online.

I check with the real Walmart and confirm that this is not a real job interview.

This is spam — and we don’t click on spam.

But for some people searching for work, this email could seem like a godsend.

Who is behind this fake Walmart job interview campaign?

 

Walmart job spam
Fake Walmart job interview email. Image: Archer News

Not Walmart

There is no phone number on the email, just an address:

 

2423 Highway 17 South

Unit #107

North Myrtle Beach, SC

 

Google Maps shows us it’s not Walmart.

The address leads to the Carolina Business Center, which offers virtual office addresses, according to Davinci Virtual Office Solutions.

Return to Sender 

The email sender is:

go@mobilestartacarrertoday.cp20[.]com on behalf of go@mobilestartacareertoday[.]com

Mobilestartacareertoday[.]com takes us directly to startacareertoday[.]com.

That’s when things get interesting.

The Start A Career Today site flashes logos of well-known organizations like DHL and NHS, saying “Get hired by top companies.”

Website of Start A Career Today, which sends out Walmart job spam
The Start a Career Today website shows logos of big companies. Image: Start A Career Today

We click on “Contact us” to find out the address and phone.

But on this site, you can’t get contact information without giving your email address.

That sounds like a bad idea, especially when the company already appears to be sending out spam.

T&C

Checking terms and conditions, we learn more.

Start A Career Today says:

—It doesn’t verify its job listings to see if they are accurate or even still open.

—It hasn’t reviewed any of the employers.

—It gives us job info in exchange for personal information from us.

—It uses our personal information to market to us, and to sell or rent our info to other companies, too.

No wonder my inbox is suddenly jammed with multiple fake job interview offers and other misleading messages!

 

Terms & conditions of Startcareertoday, which sends out Walmart job spam
Startacareertoday terms & conditions say the company will provide, sell or rent your information to others. Image: Startacareertoday

Endorsement?

Remember the trademarks on the site, like DHL and NHS?

The terms and conditions say these companies don’t sponsor the site and, in most cases, don’t endorse the site.

Where’s my Walmart interview?

That may be what others are asking, too.

A job seeker going by the name of Joe Danzy posted a complaint online about Start A Career Today in November 2018.

“They asked us to respond to an interview and they do this several times a day and there is no interview,” he wrote. “They have us to fill out surveys for them and there’s no interview for the job we seek.”

“Then the companies in the surveys bombard us with texts and emails and phone calls, over and over,” he added. “They are getting paid for the surveys and selling our personal information, and there’s no interviews never.”

Costco job email from Walmart job spam sender Start A Career Today
Costco job interview email from Start A Career Today sent in August, 2019. Image: Archer News

Whois?

Checking site registration, we see that startacareertoday[.]com is registered to Mohit Singla in New York.

A LinkedIn profile for Singla shows him working as Director of Philanthropy at Fluent, a digital marketing company on Vesey Street.

We stop in for a visit.

The security guards at the front desk send us up to Fluent on the ninth floor, with an expansive view of the Hudson River and even the Statue of Liberty.

 

Exterior of building where Fluent is located
Exterior of building in New York where Fluent is located. Image: Archer News

We ask for Mohit Singla.

Soon, he comes out to talk.

Start A Career Today?

“That’s ours,” he confirms. “It’s not really my project. That’s not really what I’m doing here, but I can try to find someone that would know more about it.”

We remind him his name is listed as the site representative online.

“Yeah, my name’s all over the place,” he answers. “Give me a second.”

But during this visit to Fluent, no one wanted to talk.

LinkedIn profile for Mohit Singla at Walmart job spam sender Fluent
Mohit Singla profile on LinkedIn. Image: LinkedIn

Stop the Emails

One day later, Fluent contacts us back for a phone conversation with Fluent’s head of compliance, Dan Barsky.

“Thank you for bringing the emails to our attention,” he said. “We identified the problem. We use third-party email publishers. We’ve stopped the emails and they’re no longer going out.”

“That was an overly aggressive message and we don’t support it,” he added. “And we have put an end to it.”

But there seems to be something missing — a way for you to report these overly aggressive emails to the company.

Right now, your options appear to be delete or unsubscribe — or hop on a plane to New York to track the company down.

Isn’t there a better way? we ask.

“That’s something we can look into,” Barsky says. “But the opt-out function should stop the emails and that should really put the problem to rest.”

But opting out does not put the problem to rest.

Fluent and related companies appear to have a history of problematic emails.

 

 

 

Fake interview email from Walmart job spam sender Startacareertoday
Fake FedEx interview email from Start A Career Today in August, 2019. Image: Archer News

History

Start A Career Today was connected to a fake Amazon jobs campaign in 2015, according to ThatsNonsense.com.

In addition, a lawsuit first filed in 2016 in California claims Fluent and related companies are “professional spammers” sending out misleading messages like “You won a $50 CVS gift card”, when you have won nothing at all.

That case is still going through the courts.

In the meantime, complaints about Fluent-related companies are still coming in to the Better Business Bureau.

Complaint about Reward Zone, a company connected to Start A Career Today
One of many complaints to the Better Business Bureau about Reward Zone, a company related to Fluent, according to court documents. Image: BBB

And the Walmart job message was just one of many work-related messages Start A Career Today sent out this month, like the ones telling me I had job interviews at Costco and FedEx.

Barksy says, once again, he will look into it.

What Can You Do?

You can report misleading emails to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.

Don’t click on links in spam.

Hiring experts say don’t ever go through these kinds of emails.

Instead, go directly to the real company’s website and apply there.

If you do click, you might end up with a crowded inbox.

Like this email that arrived from StartACareerToday only a few hours after our conversation with Barsky.

“Kerry, Verify $500 Transfer,” it says. “Transferring *1* $500 AMAZON AMOUNT to… Recipients List: Michael, Brooke, Kerry, Natalie, Arthur.”

Amazon money email from Walmart job spam sender Start A Career Today
Amazon money transfer email from Start A Career Today. Image: Archer News

Just click to confirm the amount!

Fluent may have stopped one campaign.

But there are plenty more to plague you and your inbox.

 

Main image: Walmart and job interview spam email. Image: Jimaro Morales & Archer News



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