Make us your home page
Jobs | Scams

Watch out for scams targeting job hunters

There's nothing lower in my opinion than someone who scams job hunters. • People in job hunts are vulnerable. Emotions are tender. Finances are worrisome. • To victimize them by offering fake work-at-home jobs or promising "access to the hidden job market" (which doesn't exist) is reprehensible.

Even worse is to charge desperate job seekers a fee that's grossly disproportionate to the value of the service given.

That's why I was delighted to learn recently that the Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on "scammers who push phony jobs and bogus money-making schemes."

The agency introduced Operation Bottom Dollar along with a recap of lawsuits it has filed against 11 companies (charging them with deceptive practices) and 43 criminal cases filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against job scammers.

Law enforcement actions have been taken against Government Careers Inc., Real Wealth Inc., Darling Angel Pin Creations, Abili-Staff Ltd., Entertainment Work Inc., Independent Marketing Exchange Inc., Preferred Platinum Services Network, Job Safety USA, Career Hotline Inc., Penbrook Productions and International Marketing.

Whatever the legal outcomes, job hunters are wise to steer clear of those entities.

Meanwhile, CareerBuilder, Monster, Bing and Craigslist have agreed to display on their Web sites the FTC's consumer education materials about job scams.

The director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection came out of the gate with fightin' words:

"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."

Unless and until government lawyers shut down job scams, job hunters need to watch for too-good-to-be-true offers. Be suspicious of companies that ask for money up front for home-based jobs or access to openings.

Diane Stafford is the workplace and careers columnist at the Kansas City Star. Her "Your Job" blog at includes daily posts about job-related issues of wide interest.

Watch out for scams targeting job hunters 03/01/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 1, 2010 10:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.