Make us your home page
Instagram

Feds crack down on job scams, sue Tampa angel pin business

Federal authorities filed civil suits against a Tampa business and 11 other U.S. companies as part of a nationwide crackdown on con artists who prey on jobless Americans.

The Federal Trade Commission announced the nationwide sweep during a Washington, D.C., news conference Wednesday to highlight the growing trouble with job scams that have taken tens of thousands of people during the economic downturn.

In a complaint filed in U.S. District County in Tampa, the FTC accuses Shelly R. Olson, president of Darling Angel Pin Creations Inc., and her partner Judith C. Mendez of making false claims that consumers could earn as much as $500 a week by assembling angel pins at home.

Her company required consumers to pay between $22 and $45 to get started. Some consumers paid hundreds more for supplies needed to make the pins, but in the end they received nothing in return, according to authorities.

The company required consumers to have one of their assembled angel pins approved by the company before they could make any money, but almost all of the pins were rejected regardless of how well the consumer put them together, authorities said.

The FTC joined with state attorneys general, Monster.com, Microsoft, Craigslist, the search engine Bing and various local law enforcement agencies to fight the growing problem of job scams.

Tens of thousands of consumers have complained about con artists making job offers.

"Federal and state law enforcement officials will not tolerate those who take advantage of consumers in times of economic misfortune," David C. Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "If you falsely advertise that you will connect people with jobs or with opportunities for them to make money working from home, we will shut you down.

"We will give your assets to the people you scammed, and, when it's appropriate, we'll refer you to criminal authorities for prosecution."

The FTC has prepared a consumer education video in English and Spanish to help job seekers avoid these scams. Visit ftc.gov/jobscams and youtube.com/ftcvideos.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2332. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Consumers_Edge and become a fan of Consumer's Edge on Facebook.

Feds crack down on job scams, sue Tampa angel pin business 02/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed a long-time friend and political supporter, Jimmy Patronis, to replace Jeff Atwater as Florida's next chief financial officer, making him one of three members of the Cabinet that sets state policy on a wide range of issues. He'll take over Friday.

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]