Don't Fall Victim to Bogus Job Offers

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This week the Federal Trade Commission launched "Operation Bottom Dollar" and a new video announcing their effort to crack down on con artists who are preying on the unemployed with job-placement and work-at-home scams, promoting empty promises that they can help people get jobs in the federal government, as movie extras, or as mystery shoppers; or make money working from their homes stuffing envelopes or assembling ornaments.

To help consumers avoid being conned by employment scams, the FTC has produced this below consumer education video in English and Spanish.

Before you spend money responding to placement firms or completing placement contracts:

    * 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 are 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
    * 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.

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