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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 2/20/2010

Scamming for jobs

IT'S low to prey on unemployed people by dangling a job that doesn't exist as part of a scam. Yet, thousands of jobless Americans who fall for such cons can attest to their prevalence.

One recourse may discourage the unscrupulous scammers. The federal government and the State of Ohio are suing companies that are allegedly behind some of the more egregious money-making schemes.

If the legal action announced by the Federal Trade Commission and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray make shady operators think twice about charging job-seekers for phony information about work that never materializes, so much the better. The FTC has filed 44 civil and criminal actions against companies accused of scamming people out of hundreds of dollars apiece by promising them jobs or opportunities that weren't available.

One of the companies charged customers for study materials to help them pass tests for government jobs that had no tests. Others roped consumers into cons with similar charges to enroll in programs to sell nonexistent products or to land nonexistent jobs.

As part of the sweep, Mr. Cordray has sued a Cincinnati-based company suspected of violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act. The attorney general said Job Line claimed to have ties to hundreds of companies that it didn't, ostensibly making it privy to little-known job openings. The suit says job seekers paid $250 to the company to get information that was either outdated or publicly available.

In an era of high unemployment, jobless Americans are easy marks for illegitimate offers of work or guarantees of jobs. They should be warned about scammers with deals too good to be true. And those who prey on vulnerable people should be warned that the government is on to their cons and will see them in court.



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