The Workplace Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I applied to a job via craigslist post. Person contacted me and asked a few qualification questions. My email disclosed my website, and resume and Linkedin.

They then proceeded to ask me for job references. I said I would like to learn more about the company and their website and location and they refused to provide any info by stating they can't provide any info until I give them references. To add to the matter, their email is, the email did not contain persons name or signature or anything. Is that a normal practice or should I be wary in my proceedings?

share|improve this question
Run! Run like the wind! – Marv Mills Mar 16 at 16:35
That just screams "SCAM!" to me – DLS3141 Mar 16 at 16:39
This is a bottom-feeder recruiter, at best. An identity thief, at worst. – Wesley Long Mar 16 at 16:39
Yup. I can't think of any possible scenario that reasonably explains this other than this "job" being a front for somebody who wants to get your references. Probably some unscrupulous recruiter. Or worse. Do not give them anything. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Mar 16 at 16:40
yeah upon further investigation i found out that it is a front of some sort as they have spammed many job websites with various emails as a carpet cleaning business which was ok with paying a substantial salary to a web designer hahaha thank you all for the info – Stanley VM Mar 16 at 17:07
up vote 103 down vote accepted

Don't do it! This is a recruiter looking to get you to provide managerial references. You'll never hear from that person again, and they'll be plugging your references for new business.

Old scam.

share|improve this answer
I think you're being optimistic in thinking this is even a recruiter. – Laconic Droid Mar 16 at 16:42
Information on a resume is pretty generic and useless to a marketer without some demographics. But phone numbers to hiring managers are GOLDEN! :) – codenoir Mar 16 at 16:44
Right, but phone numbers and job references are valuable to someone trying to open a store credit card in your name and buy a large screen TV. – Laconic Droid Mar 16 at 16:51
A colleague responded: "Sure! Here is my current manager's phone number." Then gave them the phone number to the local Sheriff's Department. :) – MealyPotatoes Mar 16 at 21:29
@codenoire I did some consulting work for the fraud department of a major credit card company. SSN is trivially easy to obtain if you have other details such as phone numbers and employment history. – Laconic Droid Mar 17 at 17:28

Yes it is normal practice for meeting a creep. At worst they might ask for pictures and if you like leather or being tied up.

At best they are a fishy company with little funding and pay. In the middle they might just be skimming for contacts.

Verdict: Don't. Ignore future contact unless you just feel like messing with them with fake info.

(you can give them a series of email address and fake people to see what things these people get in the future)

share|improve this answer
I like the idea of providing fake contact information and faking being your own references to see what happens to them. – Bobson Mar 16 at 19:32
Or, create a few e-mail accounts for the 'references' and see what comes in. – CramerTV Mar 17 at 19:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.