WICHITA, Kan. -- An e-mail claims an Internet marketing company wants to hire more than 1,000 people in Wichita.
However, nobody in the Wichita business community -- including the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce -- has heard of the company.
KAKE News received an e-mailed news release claiming to be from a company called Escalate Internet. It said the company plans to hire 1,200 sales and marketing executives in Wichita, but there is no evidence to suggest that will really happen.
On its website, Escalate Internet claims to be an award-winning marketing firm specializing in making sure small businesses are found online.
In the e-mail sent to KAKE News, the company plans to begin by hiring 1,200 people in Wichita and go from there. The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday it has never heard of this company nor does it know of any such plans.
An e-mail to the company has not been answered. Calls to the phone number listed with the company's website domain registration are answered by an automated message directing callers to an online request for information form.
Online searches for the company returned few results other than online complaints about a company called Escalate Hosting, which used the same graphics and logo as Escalate Internet. According to the online complaints, the hosting company built some business websites and then disappeared.
The Better Business Bureau said it also has never heard of this company. Denise Groene, State BBB Director for Kansas, said there are a few things to look out for when applying for a job online. For example, Escalate's online employment application is not encrypted.
"Basically what that means is it's a secure site and, once you input your information, once it goes in transit, it cannot be retrieved by a third party," Groene said.
So, any personal information entered on a non-encrypted site could end up in the hands of identity thieves.
"Say it's asking for your Social Security Number," Groene said. "It's not secure and you input that information. From Computer A to Computer B, somebody can go and retrieve that."