Operation Bottom Dollar: Job Scams
Operation Bottom Dollar is the FTC’s effort to stop scammers who falsely promise job seekers access to job opportunities. Job seekers pay an ufpfront fee, which many can barely afford, and get nothing in return. Learn how to spot a scam in your job search and report it to the FTC.
The primary sign of a job scam is that you’re asked to pay money upfront, and the person on the other end of the phone is guaranteeing you or promising you a job in exchange for that up-front fee.
Well, job scams can take various forms. One of the most pernicious forms of jobs scams are those that post ads in classified sections of newspapers, they could be anywhere, but that offer an actual job, or purport to offer an actual employment opportunity. When folks call up and find out that they have to pay a fee in advance to obtain a promised or guaranteed job, that’s a big red flag. Consumers who do pay fees upfront in exchange for a promised or guaranteed job may find out that at the end of the day, they’ve lost their money.
Scam artists may offer an opportunity to earn income stuffing envelopes or assembling crafts from home, but consumers who pay money upfront often just wind up losing their money. Another scam that we’ve seen are those that offer employment listing services, in other words, pay money to me and I’ll give you access to my website, which lists all kinds of jobs, jobs in your geographic area, jobs that you’re going to be eligible for, jobs that you qualify for. If you pay your money upfront, you might wind up finding out that those job listings aren’t as extensive as you thought they would be, those job listings don’t list jobs in your geographic area, or you don’t qualify at all for the jobs that are listed.
You should never pay a fee to get a government job. You should be very careful when dealing with anyone who asks you for any money upfront for any job, but in particular you should never pay a fee for applying for a federal government job, you should never pay a fee for taking a test to qualify for a federal government job.
Job seekers should be careful out there, particularly where anybody’s asking them for money upfront. If anybody’s asking you for money upfront in exchange for a job or a job opportunity, check that business out, ask a lot of questions. Go to the Better Business Bureau and find out if there are any consumer complaints against this entity.
Anyone’s who’s been victimized by a job scam should go to www.ftc.gov/complaint. We’d love to hear your complaints. You are our eyes and ears, and we won’t know what’s going on out there unless consumers tell us about it. Consumers should also report complaints to the Better Business Bureau and to the state Attorney Generals’ offices.
To find out more information about how to avoid a job scam, folks can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.ftc.gov/jobscams.