Local News

Attorney general cautions job-seekers to avoid scams

Posted February 17, 2009
Updated February 18, 2009

— Attorney General Roy Cooper warned North Carolina job seekers Tuesday about employment programs that seem too good to be true.

“Promises of a great new job or a chance to earn thousands of dollars a week working from home can sound tempting, especially if you’ve recently lost your job,” Cooper said. “But watch out for employment scams that will cost you instead of helping you earn money.”

Cooper offered these tips:

  • Check out a company thoroughly before you apply for a job with it. Contact the attorney general’s office and the local Better Business Bureau to find out about a company’s track record.
  • Never pay for information about a work-at-home offer, or for any kind of start-up kit, instructional booklet or list of clients.
  • Avoid applying for jobs where you’re asked to pay an application fee or required to pay for a training course before the job begins.
  • Steer clear of job offers or opportunities that promise you’ll earn a commission by transferring money through your account, cashing checks or working as a secret shopper to test out wire services. These are schemes to steal your money, not legitimate employment opportunities.
  • Be skeptical of employment agencies that guarantee they’ll get you a job.
  • Beware of agencies that charge up-front fees, even if they promise you a refund if you aren’t satisfied.
  • Watch out for job interviews that turn out to be recruitment sessions for pyramid schemes. Employment ads in newspapers or on the Internet are sometimes used to recruit new members into the pyramid. Under North Carolina law, a pyramid scheme is any plan in which a participant pays money for the chance to make money when new participants join the program.

To report a potential scam, file a complaint, or check out a company, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina. You can download a consumer complaint form at the state Department of Justice Web site.


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  • TheAdmiral Feb 17, 2009

    Another scam is the ad about government millions they are dying to give you - like the one WRAL is now rotating.

  • TheAdmiral Feb 17, 2009

    The Biggest Scam to date:

    Now Hiring

    Now Accepting Applications

    Help Wanted

    You see these three out there, and only 1 out of 20 are actually hiring.

  • christineswisher Feb 17, 2009

    Also Craigslist has become a notorious place to scam people with fake jobs - I don't know the purpose other than to get information, but it has almost become a joke anymore. It used to be great for jobs, but you have to weed through so much garbage, it's hardly not worth posting anymore.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Feb 17, 2009

    Another tip: Do not give your social security number, drivers license, or other identity information over the Internet when initially applying for a job. There are web sites either infected with phishing virus or are scamming sites, seeking for your SSNs and other information. Once this happens, your identity is potentially stolen.

  • Willie_11 Feb 17, 2009

    Anybody hear of Fortune High Tech Marketing via researchfortune.com? They got their hooks into a friend of mine who in turn keeps pressuring me to join this "amazing opportunity". They claim you make money by getting people to buy cell phone plans, vitamins, etc through a website they help you build but there is a lot of pressure to get others to join with anywhere from a $89 - $300 up front fee.

  • Carolina Feb 17, 2009

    Also, if a company called "Cutco" offers you a job selling knives, run away.