Many people looking for work have been ripped off by scam artists who promise a job, access to special job listings or interviews, or a way to make a big income working from home – that is, if they pay a fee or turn over their credit or debit card information. In the end, consumers are left with no job…and some are robbed of hundreds of dollars.
Here are tips from the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid job scammers:
- Reject any company that promises to get you a job.
- Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.
- Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money.
- Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don’t appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.
- Take your time reading the contract. Don’t be caught up in a rush to pay for services. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity.
- Be cautious about purchasing services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.
- Be aware that some listing services and “consultants” write their ads to sound like they’re jobs when they’re selling general information about getting a job.
- Follow up with the offices of any company or organization mentioned in an ad or an interview by an employment service to find out if the company is really hiring.
- Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public on www.usajobs.gov.
- Check with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed about a company with which you intend to do business. You also may contact these organizations if you have a problem with an employment-service firm.
See the video "Don't Pay for a Promise," which offers details on how consumers can spot and steer clear of job scammers, and how to report rip-offs to the FTC.To deal with scammers, seven cases have been filed against promoters of the job and money-making scams, including one that victimized more than 100,000 people, the FTC reports. The companies are:
- Government Careers Inc.
- Real Wealth Inc.
- Darling Angel Pin Creations
- Abili-Staff Ltd.
- Entertainment Work Inc.
- Independent Marketing Exchange Inc.
- Preferred Platinum Services Network