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Promises here today, gone tomorrow

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We’ve all probably seen ads online, on TV, and in newpapers: “Job placement – Guaranteed!” “Interview Today. Start Tomorrow.” When we’re out of work, an ad promising a job starts to look really good. But what happens if we follow through with a click or a call? Do we get that "guaranteed" job?

Virtually never – according to the FTC’s complaint database, and according to a recent ABC News investigative piece. “Nightline” sent in a producer undercover after hearing from several New York consumers.

This is the experience of thousands of people the FTC heard from last year. Someone promises you a job – if you pay up front: For training. For certification. For supplies. For “secret” government jobs listings. But you’re left with less money than you started with and nothing to show for it – often at exactly the time you can least spare the cash.

What to do? As the FTC’s own Mónica Vaca says in the news story: “…never pay for the promise of a job.” It might sound really good and hopeful – but ask yourself this: Can you afford to kiss that money goodbye? Because that’s the likely outcome.

If you paid someone money to get a job, let us know. Our investigators are looking for these bad guys, and you can help us find them. And spread the word about job scams and other scams. You can be the difference that helps someone else not get scammed.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


My son went to a job fair a couple of years ago in Atl, Ga. The man at the fair say he was starting his on company and promise my son a higher up position in the company. Then he invited my son to his house to discuss everything about the new business. My son girl friend, at the time, who is now his wife, thought it was somewhat strange, so she went with him. When they got there the man started acting weird, never saying anything about the new business. Then she said he offered them something to drink. When he went to the kicthen, she said they left very quickly. Just because it was a job fair my son thought he could trust the people there. Thank God for the girl friend going with him. I may have never seen my son again. I don't think they ever reported what happen, because my son was a shame to tell me. And with so many people going missing, That same guy may be doing the same thing to this day.

Same thing happened to my son. He went for workshop and they told everyone that it takes $700 dollars to start their own business, and be their own boss. They are supposed to buy this knife set for $700, and sell it door to door. My son asked them who is going to buy spend $750 to $800 dollar on knives in this economy.

Last year was a little hard for me after being let go from two federal contacts. I was amazed at the calls I was receving after posting resume on careerbuilder. One call openned by sayhing congradulations on be selected for a very special and exiting oppportuity. You have been selected to interveiw with the President of the company. I started to piss off the phone caller by asking questions. I ask how much will this cost me. The caller woulf not provide me with an answer so I said do not call again. I said this was a rip off. Bottom line. Do not trust anyone calls you cold and is not upfront with you.

I was offered a data entry position with a company that boasted they were an international company. I knew something was up when they wanted to conduct an instant messenger interview. I went ahead with the interview but when he kept asking me about a bank account, I became suspicious. I asked him why did I have to have a bank account and he told me in order to receive funds to purchase supplies needed for the job. The supplies were a laptop, software and other items. I told him that I could not open a checking account and he asked why. I told him that I would not open a checking account nor would I allow him to deposit funds into my savings account. He kept stating that everything was legitimate and that the first $100 of the funds would be mine to keep. I finally told him that I knew this was a scam and not to contact me any further or I would report him to the FTC and my state Attorney General. Haven't heard from him since ... but another company tried to contact me again and I stated the same thing to her.

You may want to file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at You can provide as many details as you'd like in a complaint. If a trend is detected the company could be investigated.

"I finally told him that I knew this was a scam and not to contact me any further or I would report him to the FTC" Should read: "I finally told him that I knew this was a scam and not to contact me any further AND I would report him to the FTC"

I was offered a purchasing position through this company finding my resume on a internet job posting where I posted my resume. I was e-mailed a full disclosure of the company based in Switzerland with an office in New York. I was to Deposit their checking information into my Credit card account for the amount of my outstanding credit card balance, roughly $4,000. In a few days, I call and the deposit has cleared my account and I now have that $4,000 as available credit on my card. So I had an E-mail on items from the bigbox electronics store on items and stock numbers for me to purchase. After purchasing items I e-mailed back what items and how much I spent. Next I got an email on where to email items. I mailed items to Russian addresses from my local Post Office. Once done I emailed postal receipts to confirm my job as done.Unfortunately I lost $18,000 dollars as the deposits were all rescinded by them after the credit card company said they were good.I am trying to find out if I am completely liable for this mess.

I lost $75,000; exactly the same scenario except the company was based in Germany. I have complete records of all transactions to help with the investigation. I've avoided being liable to this point as I've opened fraud cases with the FTC, FBI and local and state DA offices. What I'm finding is that no private law practices are willing to touch a case like this. Consumers are left to their own devices. Did anybody assist you with this?

I’m sorry to hear this. It sounds like you were a victim of a job scam. You can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at Find out more about job scams and how to avoid them in this FTC article.

I just went through this exact same scenario. I was scammed out of more than $65,000. I currently in the process of suing the bank for reversing payments without my knowledge.
Scammed - were you liable for the charges?

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