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. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  2. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  3. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Ford's Garage opens new Westchase spot

    Business

    Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week.

    hillsevbiz081817: Ford's Garage opened its sixth Florida location in Westchase this week. Photo courtesy of Ford's Garage
  5. Carls Patio celebrates great outdoor furnishings in Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — While many northerners are shoveling snow, Floridians are lounging poolside in the middle of winter.

    hillsevbiz081817: After selling outdoor and patio furniture in locations in South Florida since 1993, Carls Patio has opened its first store to open in the Tampa Bay area and there are plans for more. Photo courtesy of Carls Patio.