PPL Decries Craigslist Ad as Bogus

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PPL claims a classified ad on a popular website is bogus and may be looking for people down on their luck.

For two weeks an ad appeared on craigslist.com looking for Customer Service for PPL.

It was looking for "sharp individuals." It advised job seekers to "Dress professional, no sneakers or jeans," and it asked applicants to bring a copy of their Social Security card.

"We don't look for personal information like Social Security numbers," said PPL spokesman Rich Beasley. "That's an obvious, suspicious activity."

Beasley called it a red flag.

So did a couple of women who badly needed a job and told Newswatch 16 about the ad.

They didn't want to appear on camera, and despite their lack of work, they both didn't show up for a job interview at 703 East Market Street in Scranton because they sensed the office had nothing to do with PPL.

They were right.

"If somebody went into that office and said, 'I want to see PPL identification,' they wouldn't have it because it's not a PPL operation," said Beasley.

At 703 East Market there is no logo on the door. There is just a receptionist, some notes and a phone, and when Newswatch 16 confronted a worker entering the building, he said, "I don't want to be on TV."

When Newswatch 16 got a close look at the notebook he was carrying, it had the PPL logo.

That is what concerns PPL officials most. Some business is using its name, its reputation for stable employment and decent benefits at a time when jobs are hard to find.

"They're predators," said PPL's Beasley "They go after the people who are down on their luck. We're going to be aggressive in pursuing this because people are getting hurt."

A week after a Newswatch 16 request for an interview, we went inside to see the manager, who would not say who he is, or what company he works for.

"That's pretty much it, you guys are free to leave. Thank you," the man said. When asked if this was a case of fraud he replied, "There's no fraud. We have no comment. The problem has been fixed. Have a nice day."

"Craigslist has a fraud department. We reported it already," said Beasley.

Shortly after PPL reported the post to craigslist.com the classified ad was removed.

The people who occupy the office still won't say who they are, what they are doing, or why they spent two weeks, advertising for customer service representatives for PPL.