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Updated: February 10, 2012

THE HARRIS BLACK WATCH

The Harris Black Watch is a victims' rights group founded in 2002 to monitor the business practices of convicted employment agency con-artist Harris Black and to warn other Canadians about him.

His aliases including the following: Harry Williams, Harry Black, Harry Simon, John Ashton, Steven Shaw, David Gogo, Mark Canterbury, Allan Namer, Mark Linton, Tom Lang, Kenneth Greenberg, Harry Kennedy, Lisa Flaherty, Greg Thompson, Martin Feldman, Jennifer Mason, Sister Mary Joseph, Father Constantino, Beth Feldman, Steve Feldman, Sister Mary Hughes, Mitchell Terry. His recent companies / web sites include: www.CareerExperts.org, www.Career-Experts.org, www.thejobnow.com, www.complainonline.net, www.fastmediate.com, and topjobs4you.com.

All the information on this website has been documented in newspapers, TV news reports, and postings about Black from December 2001 until today.

Contact us at senseigrm@sympatico.ca to share information on Harris Black.
 


This is Harris Black, circa 2007

Harris Black
This is Harris Black.
A December 10, 2003 CFCF News report caught Black on tape
claiming he was a pediatrician at the Montreal Children's Hospital
 

  

Harris Black in Thailand circa 2009

 



HARRIS BLACK: AN OVERVIEW

Harris Black has a well-documented history of taking money from consumers for job-placement services that he does not provide. He was convicted in Quebec and fined $2,000 for violating the Consumer Protection Act in 2000. Black paid the fine, but continued to run his business, under new names, including Addition 2000, Emploi 2000, Find-A-Job, Phoenix, and Roxton Marketing.

According to the Quebec Consumer Protection Office and court records, 44 people filed complaints or claims against Black from 1996 to 2002. CFCF News reported in March 2002 that there were likely "hundreds" of victims. In fact, the Quebec Consumer Protection Office charged Black with additional infringements to the Consumer Protection Act in 2002. After about two years of delays, the case was heard on Friday, June 18, 2004 and Black plead guilty to 12 of the 28 charges. He has nine months (until about March 2005) to pay the fine of $7,200 (or $600 for each offense).

There are still about 12 cases against Black pending in Small Claims Court in Quebec. To date, we know of now legal proceedings in British Columbia against Black, where he operated from November 2002 until about November 2003, and then again from May 2007 to July 2007.

View a PDF with a list of all the legal complaints against Harris Black in Montreal.

Black returned to Montreal during the summer of 2004 and was arrested for theft. A judge was set to hear the case of February 5, 2005, but Black was out of the country. Black spent time in Pattaya, Thailand and returned to Montreal in the summer of 2005. Harry Black made the news again after women came forward complaining about his behaviour. He lived in Thailand from September 2005 to May 2007.

He returned to Vancouver in May 2007 where he started conducting fake job interviews in public locations, such as Starbucks. This led to more TV news reports about him. He also got warning letters from the BC Better Business Bureau in July 2007 for using their logo on his CV/resume writing website, www.CareerExperts.org.

Black returned to Thailand in August 2007 where he runs his web based resume writing services. Complaints about the service occurred immediately following the launch of the website. Again, Black is alleged to be taking money for services he does not provide -- this time using the PayPal payment system. Local law enforcement in the United States has recommended victims of Black's latest scam contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet fraud unit. You may also send a complaint so the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can investigate.

In August 2008, Black founded another website offering the same CV/resume services. 123Hired.com also uses PayPal for payment and shows the same example resumes. The complaints started soon after.


THE SCAM

How did the original employment agency scam work? Here's an excerpt from the weekly Hour newspaper, which did an expose on Black in February 2002:

"When I got to the interview, he said I had to sign a contract and his payment would be my first week of salary," explained Bailey last week. She gave him $20 up front, charged to her credit card.

But the jobs Black provided soon turned out to be far from what he promised, she said. "The jobs he sent me had little to do with my experience or qualifications. Sometimes I didn't get interviews: sometimes the companies said they had no jobs, and some said they had told Black to stop referring people."

Worse, two weeks later Black put a $680 charge on her credit card, she said. When she complained, he said it was "part of the contract," that he could take her first week's salary even if she didn't have a job. His earlier assurances to the contrary weren't guarantees, but "just you and me alone in the office." When she said she wanted her money back, she said Black told her only people who "have something for me" get refunds.

Source: Hour, http://www.hour.ca/magazine/index.asp?id=1246&parution=1007

 

Visit the News Reports section to read every news story about Harris Black from January 2002 until today.

Harris Black due back in court
One of the many news articles on Harris Black


Black repeated the employment scam over and over again. He eventually closed his business for good once the steady stream of newspaper articles and television reports became too much. He left Montreal in spring 2002 for Vancouver, BC.

It wasn't long before Black was up to his old tricks. But this time, the Harris Black Watch had been formed, this website was online and our victim's rights group was monitoring his attempts to collect CVs via the Internet.

 

CFCF News report on Harris Black, March 20, 2002



BLACK HITS VANCOUVER. VANCOUVER HITS BACK
By November 2002, the Harris Black Watch had received several e-mail messages from people in Vancouver who were suspicious of Black. These people were clever enough to do a Google search for "Harris Black", found this website and began to share information with us.

By January 2003, we received the first confirmation that Black was attempting to restart his "job-placement" business in Vancouver. The previous month, Black had posted job openings for a data-entry clerk at the University of British Columbia (UBC) student centre job board. Several female students applied for the job and went for interviews with Black.

We received several e-mail messages from these female students. In every case, the student was suspicious of Black and disturbed by his behaviour. For instance, he asked inappropriate questions (eg, "Do you have a boyfriend?") and conducted some interviews in his Jeep Cherokee.

This news was deeply disturbing because, according to official Quebec court documents, Black pled guilty to Sexual Assault (art. 271-1-B), and an Indecent Act (art. 173-1) in 1999 and served 18 months probation. These two charges stem from two separate incidents with two different women on December 9, 1997 and November 28, 1997, respectively. Black, isn't just a convicted scam artist -- he is a convicted sexual assault offender in Quebec.

Following a tip from the Harris Black Watch, the UBC campus newspaper, The Ubyssey, wrote a article on January 21, 2003 and warned students about Black.

On January 31, 2003, BC Global News also did a story on Black. Both reported on criminal conviction and business-related fines (video not available). Global News also reported that the university received complaints from several students just four days after Black posted the help-wanted ad.

(Visit the News Reports page to view the reports.)

CV HARVESTING AGAIN
A month passed before Black resurfaced. In May 2003, Black posted help wanted notices on Internet discussion groups (van.general, van.jobs, bc.general, and bc.jobs). Black used the names Lisa Stanford, Jane Sweeney and Heather Caulfield. The "companies"  she/he claimed to run included Global Consulting, an IT recruiting firm, an ethnic recruiting firm, and a human resources firm.

This "CV harvesting" technique was the exact one he used in Montreal to get CVs from unsuspecting people. He would collect CVs from unsuspecting people for bogus jobs. This is how he found unemployed people. He would then call the applicant several weeks later -- this time using a different name. He would invite them to visit his placement service. The victims never understood how he got their contact info, but they visited his "agency" anyway because they needed a job and thought he could help.

THE MEDIA INVESTIGATES
Following a tip from our victims' rights group, BC Global News in Vancouver decided to re-investigate Black again and confirmed that our fears we justified. Black had rented a turnkey office space downtown and was again scamming students looking for work. This time the business, located at 701 West Georgia Street, Suite 1501 was called Global Consulting or Ideal Personnel.

On May 28, 2003, reporter Ted Chernecki visited his office and found a Capilano College student in the lobby who had just paid "John Ashton" $200 to help her find a job. He demanded the money up front and preferred that she pay with Interac (debit card) but said that he also took Visa.


TV report about Harris Black
BC Global News did two reports
on Harris Black in May 2003.



The following day, BC Global News did a follow-up report on Black/Ashton. Several people had seen the previous day's report and were able to confirm that "John Ashton" was Harris Black. A female, who requested that her identity be protected, said that Ashton/Black asked her many personal questions during their meeting.

"He started to get into more personal questions about my life that was not necessary for [the job]. He was asking me if I was attached... and just really started feeling really uncomfortable."

Source: BC Global News, May 29, 2003


A male client said that Black told him that he'd have someone in his office work on the client's resume. When the client finally received the resume, he discovered that it was only a half page and looked as if "a child had been working on it." Once again, Black was charging for services he did not provide and asking females inappropriate questions. As a result of the two news reports, Black was asked to leave the turnkey office that he was leasing on West Georgia Steet. Also, Capilano College immediately put up a warning to students about Black on their website. But Black wasn't about to give up.


BLACK TRIES AGAIN...
Black opened a new turnkey office in North Vancouver at 145 West 15th St. in August 2003. He even got a business license from the City of North Vancouver. The new business name was Horizon.

The city received complaints about Black soon after he opened his doors and they quickly revoked his business license. But not before Black cashed in on a "steady stream" of clients.

Marie Lucas, the manager at Diversified Business Services (DBS) offices on West 15th Street in North Vancouver who processed his application to lease a turnkey office, said she was shocked to learn about Black's background and said she had no idea that he was anything other than what his references said he was. According to Lucas, Black was "a nice, professional person who told us he had about 5,000 job opportunity files."

According to Lucas, "a steady stream" of clients were showing up every day for the last two weeks for interviews with Black.

Source: http://www.nsnews.com/issues03/w082403/084203/news/084203nn1.html


This caused a stir in North Vancouver as the city council came under fire for not properly looking into the people to whom they gave licenses. Read this editorial in the North Shore News for the fallout.

For the record, this is the North Vancouver council resolution regarding Harris Black:

9.1 REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Moved by Councillor Clark, seconded by Councillor Fearnley, that the following recommendation of the Committee of the Whole in camera be ratified:

(a) Business License - File: 3045-03

PURSUANT to the hearing held in-camera on September 15, 2003:

THAT the business license issued to Harris Black to operate the business Horizon be cancelled for reasonable cause pursuant to Section 660 of the Local Government Act;

AND THAT staff be directed to take all steps necessary to effect the aforesaid cancellation.


CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

 


...AND AGAIN

Around Sept. 25, 2003 we received several e-mail messages from UBC students who had visited "Harry Black" at his latest new office. This one was back in the City of Vancouver at 1311 Howe St., Suite 311. They were responding to this ad on the UBC Alma Mater Society's (AMS) Joblink Web site.

Organization HMB CONSULTING
Job Position OFFICE CLERKS
Pay Rate 13/hr
Application Deadline 2003-09-11
Job Skills BE FRIENDLY AND KNOW MS-OFFICE
Comments PLEASE EMAIL RESUMES IN MS-WORD ONLY TO IBM2003@SHAW.CA THANK YOU!

Recipient S.W.
Email IBM2003@SHAW.CA
Address 311 - 1311 HOWE ST.
City
Postal Code V6Z2P3

 


Here is an excerpt from the Ubyssey newspaper report of this incident, including facts about how Black scams job searchers to do free labour.

Three students then complained to Joblink and UBC Career Services about the job posting. Complaints were also registered with the Vancouver Police, said Norjberg.

The complaints came when Black allegedly told two students replying to the posting that for $100 he would spruce up their resume and distribute it to companies looking for employees.

"That should be a warning bell to the students," said Una Walsh, acting director of UBC Career Services. "If you are replying to a job ad a legitimate employer would never be asking you for money."

Another student complained about going for a job interview and being put to work for three unpaid hours making calls to male applicants. The calls were to find a candidate to fill an undetermined job from a stack of resumes, said Norjberg.

"Our concern is that he was doing this to a bunch of students so that he could get a bunch of free labour out of it," she said.

Source: The Ubyssey, Sept. 30, 2003,

 

It turns out that a woman named SW [name removed on request] obtained a business licence from the City of Vancouver. A few days later, she informed the office people that her "friend", Harris Black, would be taking over the business. It is unclear at this time whether SW realized what type of business Black was starting up again. Black may have taken advantage of a good person who was too willing to trust him.


Harris Black gave this business card to clients.
 

After several complaints to the city and to the building manager, Black was evicted from the office. Sources tell us that Black used several curse words when he learned his fate.


MEANWHILE, BACK IN QUEBEC...

The Suburban reported in October 2003 that new charges have been filed against Black by the Quebec Consumer Protection Office. If convicted, Black faces a fine of $4,800 -- in addition to the $6,464 of the previous case still moving slowly through the courts. Sadly, Black has gotten his mother involved in his legal mess. The Suburban reports that:

"...Malka Schwartzman has been charged with 13 counts under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act in connection with Phoenix Inc., a placement agency operated by Black. According to l'Inspecteur generale des institutions financières, the company opened in Schwartzman's name in 2001 and closed last year. Schwartzman pleaded not guilty, but faces $600 in fines for each count, according to Levac."

Source: The Suburban, October 29, 2003, p. 7


IN THE NEWS AGAIN

In early December 2003, CFCF News in Montreal reported on Black's online dating activities with a warning to single women. They used a hidden camera and set up a date where Harris claims that he is a pediatrician. They also spoke to a woman who dated Black and felt betrayed by his false claims about being a doctor.



In late December 2003, Hour newspaper published their third expose on Black. This time, they focused on Black's online dating habits.

To Sabrina (not her real name) the man she met on Match.com was "every single mommy's dream," a kind, considerate pediatrician who told jokes, performed magic tricks for her son and indulged her love of dancing. Soon they were intimate and she trusted him enough to loan him a spare apartment key.

"Fifteen hours later I caught him in my bed with someone else. Let me tell you, gone were the manners and there was no remorse on his part," she says.

Black also made the Suburban's top newsmakers of 2003 for the second straight year. He was featured in the "Known to police" section.


HE'S NOT A DOCTOR, AND HE DOESN'T PLAY ONE ON TV
The new year, 2004, didn't start off well for Black as he was, again, featured on a CFCF News report on January 16, 2004. They reported that the Quebec's College of Physicians is investigating Black for misrepresenting himself as a pediatrician. The fine? Between $600 and $6,000 per incident.



 

On January 22, 2004, Hour newspaper reported that Black failed to show up in court (again) for charges that he violated the Consumer Protection Act. His lawyer got the case moved to April 14, 2004.


CONSUMER PROTECTION FINES BLACK AGAIN

After about two years of delays, the case against Black by the Quebec Consumer Protection Office was heard on Friday, June 18, 2004. Hour newspaper reported that Black plead guilty to 12 of the 28 charges against him and was fined $7,200 ($600 for each offense). He has nine months (until about March 2005) to pay the fine. The 13 charges against Malka Schwartzman were dropped. Here is the French press release from the Quebec Consumer Protection Office regarding the Harris Black case (English translation).


BACK TO VANCOUVER...

In August 2004, Black posted notices on Internet discussion groups to find people to buy his black Jeep Cherokee, two computers, and to sub-let his apartment. We also received notice from several sources that he intended to move to Vancouver on or about September 2004. In other posts, Black specifies that he is interested in a furnished apartment in Vancouver for only a month or so (also see here and here) and a mountain bike.
 

CHARGED WITH THEFT
In November 2004, CFCF News reported that Black was arrested for theft in Montreal. The case is moving through the courts. They also report that Black was traveling through Thailand in November.
 

BACK TO THAILAND
In December 2004, Harris posted a message on a Vancouver discussion group looking for someone to teach him how to speak Thai. He states that he is moving to Thailand. In a post on a Thailand-based discussion group, Harris says he is looking for split a cab from the airport in Thailand with a fellow traveler when he arrived back in Thailand on December 30, 2004.

New information suggests that Black is living temporarily in Pattaya, Thailand. However, he may be looking for a more permanent address near there.
 

VICTIM BEATS BLACK IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT
One of Black's victims, Bonnie L., won a claim against Black in Small Claims Court on February 22, 2005 for $700 + 5% interest + $62 filing fee. She has 10 years to claim her judgment from Black (or perhaps others legally associated with his former business). Black didn't appear in court and so lost the case.

If Black took your money for services he did not provide, you too can win a judgment against him in Small Claims Court. You have up to three years from the date that you paid him for his "services". It is fairly easy to do a claim. There are people who are there to help you. If you haven't started the proceeding, do it right away.
 

VICTIM GETS HER MONEY BACK
One of the saddest parts of this story is how Harris Black has gotten his mother involved in his mess. By all accounts, his family is well-respected and good honest people. But because Harris Black has left Canada, his victims have been forced to get their money from his mother--whose name Black used on at least one of his business registration papers in Montreal.

Bonnie L., who won her case against Black (and his mother) was finally able in mid-March 2005 to collect the money awarded to her in court. Black's parents were forced to clean up his mess. As more cases move through the courts, I suspect they will be forced to continue cleaning up his mess(es).

It's bad enough to scam unemployed people out of their money. But that's nothing compared to putting your elderly parents through a legal mess because you don't have the decency to make things right on your own.


ANOTHER VICTIM WINS JUDGMENT AGAINST BLACK

Tina W. won a judgment against Harris Black in Quebec Small Claims Court on April 18, 2005. She was swindled out of $700 by Employment 2000 back in 2001. The judge awarded Tina $700 + interest + court costs.

Remember, if Harris Black took money from you for services he did not provide, you have up to 3 years to file a claim and 10 years to collect any Small Claims Court judgment. Contact us at senseigrm@sympatico.ca if you need information on how to proceed. Remember, you are not alone. Black conned many people. Don't let him get away with it. If he owes you money, let the courts help you get it back. That's what the courts are there for.


NEW COMPANY, SAME SCAM

Harris Black returned to Montreal in spring/summer 2005 and is once again posting help wanted ads and conducting job interviews. His new alias is Harry Williams. His new company is called Pik Perfect. His new e-mail address is pikperfect@sympatico.ca.

Black has been interviewing people at the Java U cafe on Monkland St. He posted job offers at the Concordia Student Union Off Campus Job and Housing Bank and in the Gazette. Victims have already started to contact the Harris Black Watch.

For the record, this is the job ad he posted at Concordia:

We are a multimedia group seeking several qualified employees with good command of English to fill this post. Please apply by email: pikperfect@sympatico.ca
*please write "CONCORDIA OFFICE CLERK" in subject of email.

www.bunk1.com

We are a photography company that uploads photos to our website so families can see their loved ones today while on our site when they themselves cannot be present. For example, your child is at summer camp for 2 months. With our site, you could actually see photos of your child today. It’s the next best thing to visiting. With nursing homes, many family members cannot attend in person so we do the photos regularly and they may see their loved ones on a more regular basis albeit in photos.

We work with summer camps, animal kennels, tour groups, and nursing homes. Our market keeps expanding and we constantly need more photographers. No experience is necessary and we provide equipment unless you prefer to use your own. Schedule may be full time or part time. You are responsible for visiting each client and taking candid photos. They are not posed or professional. We do NOT do photos of an adult nature. See www.bunk1.com. Please email your cv to pikperfect@sympatico.ca. Feel free to include any photos or only a cv.

 

BRINGS WOMEN TO COUNTRY HOUSE, GETS REBUFFED, STRANDS THEM
The Link (Concordia University student newspapers) reported in September 2005 that Black kept himself busy this summer 'interviewing' women for bogus jobs. Black placed ads in newspapers, met the women applicants in cafes and invited them to his country house as part of the job application process.

The man Jessica claims is Black arranged for a job interview at the Java U on Monkland. A few weeks later, he picked her up at her NDG home and took her to his Clarenceville family cottage for a test photo shoot.

She says she ate lunch and drank wine with Black, but became anxious when she realized they weren't really going to be taking any photos. She noticed his e-mail inbox open on his laptop and memorized the address. Later, she says Black asked to take nude photos of her, and have sex with her, both of which she quickly declined. At the end of the evening, he refused to take her home.

"He said, 'Here's the bus stop, take the bus to Montreal.' It was a trailer park," Jessica says. "I was crying, begging him to take me home."

After a minor struggle, he left her at a depanneur where she says a clerk witnessed their dispute. The next morning, she ran an Internet search on Black's e-mail address and found McHugh through www.harrisblackwatch.com.

Another woman had an even more disturbing story.

At the cottage, Mercado says she refused Black's advances, which she claims greatly annoyed him. After she declined a drink from him, he flew into a rage.

"He tried again to kiss me, but this time he jumped on me and he threw me on the sofa-bed," Mercado says from Peru. "I started to scream and he laughed."

He herded her into the car and threw her out on a deserted stretch of road. She found help after about a mile's walk, and made it home several hours later.



BLACK SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR PROBATION FOR THEFT
Harris Black was found guilty of theft (article 334.b.ii of the criminal code) in Montreal Municipal Court (room 1.40) on Friday, September 23, 2005. He had been arrested on or about July 22, 2004 for allegedly stealing 10 tickets from the Just for Laughs festival where he was volunteering.

The judge sentenced him to serve one year probation and pay a $200 fine. The prosecution had asked for a $300 fine but Black's defense lawyer said that Black's finances were very low since he hadn't worked for 12 months. He said that Black's application for legal-aid showed that he made $3,234 in 2004. (Amazingly, Black was still able to spend five months in Thailand in 2005.)

The conditions of the probation are to keep the peace and stay away from the Just for Laughs people, building, and organization in general. He is also never allowed to attend any of the Just for Laughs festivals.

According to the court transcript, the judge told Black: "You are not credible, your story is not credible and I don't believe a word that you've said here today."


BACK TO THAILAND IN DECEMBER 2005
Harris Black returned to Pattaya, Thailand in December 2005. Being the curious types, the Harris Black Watch visited Expedia.ca in early January 2006 to check the cost to fly from Montreal to Bangkok. The cheapest return flight was $3,002 (Air Canada, one stop). The cheapest one-way flight was $1,673 (United Airlines, two stops). How does someone who made $3,234 in 2004 afford this kind of travel?


HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAI PROSTITUTES
Ever the humanitarian, Black has repeatedly posted a tip sheet for westerners who want to use the  services of Thai prostitutes, but would rather not pay them anything.
 

HARRIS BLACK APPEARS IN TV AD FOR RESTAURANT
In a strange turn, Harris Black appeared in an infomercial for for a Pattaya, Thailand restaurant in June 2006. You can see the video here. Black's testimonial starts at 3min 30sec.

Harris Black: customer
"The variety is wonderful!"

 

ONE YEAR PROBATION OVER
Harris Black's probation on charges of theft ended on September 23, 2006. The Harris Black Watch has learned that Black may be returning to Canada soon, now that his probation is over. If you have news or information on Black, his activities and any alleged scams, contact us immediately.
 

BLACK RETURNS TO VANCOUVER
Harris Black returned to Vancouver, British Columbia in May 2007. He began trying to collect unsuspecting people's CVs on Internet discussion groups, including van.general. His e-mail address is now asianetwork99@gmail.com, harryvancouver@gmail.com and workvancouver@gmail.com. (See his postings here, here, here, here, here and here.)

This "CV harvesting" technique was the exact one he used in Montreal to get CVs from unsuspecting people. He would collect CVs from unsuspecting people for bogus jobs. This is how he found unemployed people. He would then call the applicant several weeks later -- this time using a different name. He would invite them to visit his placement service. The victims never understood how he got their contact info, but they visited his "agency" anyway because they needed a job and thought he could help.

BLACK TARGETING ASIAN COMMUNITY
Harris Black continued to use many web services to attract job seekers, including Craiglist and Workopolis. He now claims to have vast experience serving the Asian community. I wonder if he is counting this.

Black also boasts a 95% placement record. (The only record that should be of interest is his criminal record, which includes a 1999 conviction for Sexual Assault (art. 271-1-B), and an Indecent Act (art. 173-1), fines from the Quebec Consumer Protection Office, police charges of theft (2004) and 34 cases in small claims court.)

Global News BC reports on Black again
Global News in Vancouver reported on Harris Black on June 27, June 28 and June 29, 2007. They interviewed two women who said Black lied that he was a physician. Another reported on his job placement antics.


June 28, 2007 Global News report

June 29, 2007 Global News report
 

Vancouver Courier reports on Black

A week after BC Global News in Vancouver reported on Black for three evenings, the weekly Courier newspaper reported on him. The report explains how he used Craigslist to post fake jobs to get CVs from unsuspecting clients, almost all women. Harris Black telephone number: 778-869-1972, Address 101246-1184 Denman Street, V

ancouver, BC V6G 2M9

Better Business Bureau and the BC Crime Prevention Association warn people about Black
Harris Black got the attention of the Better Business Bureau and the BC Crime Prevention Association. The BBB was upset because Black used their logo on his new website, Careerexperts.org. They have also added his company to their database. This is from their July 26, 2007 press release:

"It is really unfortunate that the most vulnerable are being targeted," says BBB president Lynda Pasacreta. "The owner of this company has a history of criminal behaviour, and the BBB is concerned about his company’s pattern of misleading sales practices."
 

The Harris Black Watch learned that the Careerexperts.org site is owned by Harris Black (see here for the whois domain name record). So far the site is just a single home page with no content. But we have learned that Black intends to use the online payment service PayPal to collect money from people for services such as reviewing CV's.

Vancouver Courier reports on Black, again
In a follow-up to their July 4, 2007 article, the Vancouver Courier newspaper reported on Black on August 3, 2007. The focus was the Better Business Bureau warning about Black.

Serial shyster
British Columbia's Better Business Bureau and the B.C. Crime Prevention Association are combining to warn consumers about an employment scheme that targets the unemployed and recent immigrants.

Harris Black, also known as Harris Kennedy, is posting ads on free classified services such as CraigsList. The ads, which claim to offer employment positions, are actually advertisements for a resume writing service.


Black back in Thailand, using Web for latest scam
Harris Black left Vancouver and returned to Thailand in August 2007. He launched a website, CareerExperts.org, where he offers people "a resume that stands out from the rest" through "help" from "professional resume writers". He offers three products priced at $30, $50, or $60 and he accepts payment through PayPal.  Here is what was written on the About Us page:

Your resume is your first impression so make it count!

How would you like to have a powerful resume that will open doors and get you interviews?

We can help and we deliver results!

CareerExperts can assist you in reformatting your Curriculum Vitae (resume) within 24 hours or less as we understand the best career opportunities don’t last long.

Our resume writing service provides you with professional resumes that get the attention of employers. We position your strengths to match what employers look for and expect.

Your resume is the first your employer will see. Is it setting you up for success? Is it standing out from the 100s of others employers have in front of them?

You deserve a chance at the jobs of your dreams. So take that step towards securing your dream and optimize your resume with us today!

Make that job of tomorrow a reality now!

Even though the website CareerExperts.org had only been live for a few weeks, Black already had six amazing testimonials about how wonderful the service was. The footer on the website also stated inaccurately the following: CareerExperts.org © All Rights Reserved 1995 to 2007. This is a lie as the website went live in August 2007 and the domain name was purchased by Harris Black only on July 31, 2007.

Complaints from users of the service to PayPal started almost immediately. Local law enforcement in the United States has recommended victims of Black's latest scam contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet fraud unit.

 

Global News BC reports on Black again
Global News in Vancouver reported on Harris Black in August about his new CareerExperts.org website.


Back in Vancouver?
In December 2007, we were tipped about an employment agency scam operating in Vancouver byBrian J. Hodgins running a company called “Executive Solutions" at 701 West Georgia Street, Suite 1501 (e-mail address: vancouver@execjobhunt.com). According to the BBB, several people have complained. It is not clear if Harris Black is involved in this venture.
 

New year, same tricks
At the start of 2008, Harris Black uses uses the name Martin Feldman to recruit job seekers. Here is part of his e-mail that he sends to people:

I received your resume from one of my clients in the hotel industry and wish to follow-up with you. Are you ready for a career change? My name is Martin Feldman. I am the CEO of Career Experts (helping people find great careers in the hidden job market since 1995). I am really impressed with your rich work experiences and advanced education. I can tell from your experience that you are very good working with the public, a "people person" which is exactly what we look for.

He has also used this text:

Hello, one of my clients sent me your resume and we want to follow-up with you. Are you ready for a career change? Are you free for interviews this week? My name is Jennifer Mason. I am the VP of Career Experts (helping people find top level careers in the "hidden job market" since 1995). I am really impressed with your rich work experiences. I can tell from your experience that you are very good working with the public, a "people person" which is exactly what we are looking for.

It continues like this for a while. He lists jobs and salaries. And he signs his name Jennifer Mason, VP, careerexperts.org.

Looking for people to help in the scam
In May 2008, Harris tried to recruit people to post job ads for him and reply to the email responses. He offered them an hourly wage for the service. Some people likely didn't realize they were now part of the scam. If you were solicited by Harris Black to work for him, contact us.

Web host enables Black's scam
As of July 2008, IX Web Hosting refuses to terminate Harris Black's Careerexperts.org website. As such, the Harris Black Watch is advising people to consult a lawyer regarding a class action law suit against IX Web Hosting for knowingly assisting a convicted con artist in scamming job-seekers out of thousands of dollars.

New website, same scam
A new website, 123Hired.com, was started in August 2008 offering the same resume/cv service as Careerexperts.org. A quick Google search found several complaints soon after. The service was advertised on the free classified ads service, Craiglist.

Florida newspaper reports on Black and his scam
The Bradenton Herald (Florida) reported on December 18, 2008 on a local woman almost getting scammed by Black's CareerExperts.org website. She was suspicious, researched the website and confronted Black by email. He wrote back (as Sister Mary Joseph) and said: "My dear, i have all your personal info. we will see how you like it when employers read about you!"

So, she reported this threat to the FBI.

Remember, local law enforcement in the United States has recommended victims of Black's scam contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet fraud unit. Those in Canada may send a complaint so the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Michigan television news station reports on his scam
An NBC affiliated station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reported on Harris Black on December 19, 2008 because a Michigan man found his international postings on Craiglist and reported the scam to the media. Here is the video.
 

Black pretends to be priest too
After posing as the fictitious Sister Mary Joseph at www.CareerExperts.org since around mid 2007, Black founded a new fake web company around December 2008 called www.TheJobNow.com and has created a number of characters including Father Michael Constantino, Sister Mary Delfino, and Sister Katherine Polaski. (The photo Black uses for Sister Mary Delfino actually belongs to French nun Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre. The other photos are fake too.)

New scam, collection agency
In July 2009, Black started sending this email to his email list. Apart from trying a new kind of fraud, the message is all in caps. The FBI should arrest him if only because of sketchy grammar. Here's his message:

Steve Feldman (stevefeldman) would like to be paid using PayPal.
 

Money Request Details
 
Amount:$19.95 USD
 
Event Date:Jun. 15, 2009
 
Note:THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO THIS AGENCY FOR COLLECTION. OUR CLIENT'S RECORDS INDICATE THE BALANCE IS CURRENTLY PAST DUE. WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  AMOUNT DUE:  $19.95. ONCE PAID, OUR RECORDS WILL REFLECT THE STATUS OF YOUR ACCOUNT WITH NATIONAL DEBT COLLECTIONS INC., AS SETTLED IN FULL.
 
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT AT OUR CLIENT'S REQUEST, WE MAY REPORT YOUR DELINQUENT ACCOUNT TO THE CREDIT BUREAU(S) ON THEIR BEHALF.

New scam
In May 2011, we learned about a new scam. Here is an excellent description of the scam written by Jungle Jil. (See the original post here be sure to see all her posts about Harris Black.)

Pattaya's least intelligent con-man, Harris Black, still hasn't learned his lesson that crime doesn't pay. His newest scam is complainonline.net (no link... don't want to move it up from it's zero Google page rank).

What complainonline.net does is publish fictitious and slanderous complaints about people and companies. Then, if you are one of those companies or people and ask to have the slander and lies taken down, you are told by Harris, in essence, "We aren't involved in checking the truth behind any complaints published on our website. If you want the complaint taken down, we have contracted with a 'third party moderator' whom you can hire to judge the truth of the complaint, and if they say we should take the complaint down, we'll take the complaint down."

Then the victim is directed to another fake company owned by Harris Black called FastMediate.com, with a fictitious New York City address, whom the victim then pays to have the slander against him "investigated" and removed.

Harris managed to post several hundred complaints by scamming a bunch of people on Craigslist to create accounts on his complainonline website, promising to pay them $10 per complaint they put up, and then of course never paying a penny. (See here for all the complaints lodged against complainonline.net and Harris Black by the people he suckered.)

Of course, what Harris is too thick to realize is that his whole scam is a huge waste of his time: In the end, Harris' site has a page ranking of "zero" on Google, which means that anything he puts up on the site winds up ranked below any other site with a page ranking of 1 or higher. The several hundred doctors' whom he accused of malpractice... and day care centers he accused of child sexual abuse... they will never even notice their names on his site because of the dozens of professional sites and listings that already have those business' names on them which push Harris' complainonline results to just this side of oblivion on Google. (A quick glance through Google for both "Arya Restaurant", one of Harris' targets, and the name of one of the doctors he accuses of malpractice, showed no conmplainonline.net pages within the first 20 pages of results.)

And, for those tiny few that do happen to notice these silly, unbelievable complaints about them, hopefully they will take the time to google complainonline.net and FastMediate.com, and see this article I've written, and realize that the whole thing is a scam.

A stupid scam... a pointless scam... a worthless scam... and thus nothing but a typical Harris Black scam... but still a scam.

Jil Wrinkle, Crime Watch, reporting!

(By the way, a good quote from my comments section comes to mind: "Opening an online business? Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Boo-yah.)

 

If you were listed on Harris Black's "ComplainOnline.net" website, and then subsequently were contacted by somebody claiming to represent either "ComplainOnline.net" or "FastMediate.com", that is wire fraud, a federal crime. I highly recommend you contact the FBI at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx and submit a complaint. It's quick and easy. If you are in Canada, you can also contact the FBI, or you can contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's fraud department at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.

Additionally, if you would like to contact the Thai authorities, click http://ecybercrime.police.go.th/ (link opens in new window) to go to the Thai police's cyber crime report page. Once you get to this page, select the fourth menu item on the left (3 below the "tan" top selection). Once you click on that, the form will appear. For the pulldown menu in the first box, select the first option. In the second box, type "www.complainonline.net". In the third box type your complaint. (You might also want to mention that Harris Black lives in the condo called "View Talay 6" between Soi 9 and Soi 10, between Second and Beach Roads in Central Pattaya, and you might also want to mention that in addition to the crimes he is committing online, he has also been in Thailand since August of 2007 without renewing his visa.

Harris taken in for questioning by the Thai police
In September 2011 we learned of Harris Black's latest scam to lure women to stay with him at his View Talay apartment/condo building in Pattaya. He uses Couchsurfer.com, a website that connects travelers with hosts. She says that Harris Black lifted her skirt and photographed her while she was sleeping and unconscious. He also photographed her passport. He then send her these photos by email after she left, which is when he asked her to get information about the status of his arrest warrants or else he would send them to her employer. The victim has some clout, it seems, and managed to get the Thai police to take him in for questioning on September 26, 2011. She also filed complaints with the Hong Kong police, and Interpol (via the RCMP). You can read more here, but you must register for a free account first. You can also read at Couchsurfer.com another woman's account of her experience with Harris Black.

If Harris Black committed a crime against you in Thailand, you should contact the Thai police.

British reporter blogs about Harris Black
Independent British journalist Andrew Drummond wrote about Harris Black on his blog on December 12, 2011 under the title "Warning: Do Not Approach This Man".

Active on ThaiVisa.com
We received word in January 2012 that Harris Black has been active on the ThaiVisa.com website.

Another woman traveler has bad experience with Harris Black
On January 22, 2012, the a post appeared on a blog recounting a visit to Pattaya, Thailand by a woman who met Harris on the CoucherSurfing.com website. According to her post, Harfis's mother dropped off home-made cookies for her to bring to Harris when she got to Thailand. While flying from Canada to Thailand, she clued into the fact that Pattaya is known for prostitution and warned not to go there. But she felt duty bound to deliver the cookies. When she arrived, Harris took her and some other to the local hot spots. She was turned off and eventually returned to Harris's apartment where she slept for a long time due to jet lag. The next evening, Harris told her she could only sleep there another night if she performed a sexual favour. She packed up and was gone in 2 minutes. She was so disgusted, she went immediately to the airport to fly to Bangkok. She later read about Harris on the various discussion groups and fears he took inappropriate photos of her while she was sleeping off teh jet lap that first evening. Her post is in French. You can read it here: http://valerievandal.com/?page_id=42 (English translation here).


Contact us at senseigrm@sympatico.ca to share information on Harris Black.

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