Consumer Alert: How to protect yourself from employment scams

Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 1:09 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - With so many American jobs impacted by the pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission’s timing on a warning about employment scams is critical.

So far this year, people have lost $150 million to fake employment offers after scammers preyed on people’s unemployment and anxiety, and made them believe they could make lots of money in get rich quick schemes.

In one alleged scam video released by the FTC, the caller states the following:

“You’re about to receive a very special guide which reveals how you can make six figures online in the next 90 days or less. No hype, no b.s. Just the honest truth about what it takes to succeed online.”

The FTC says there’s nothing honest about the call, and sued the operation for conning $54 million out of aspiring entrepreneurs.

That’s one of more than a dozen cases where legal action is happening, and a sweeping operation that involves law enforcement across the country in what the FTC calls “Operation Income Illusion”.

They’re using video messages to educate others on how to spot the scams.

FTC officials released one video, which states:

“They might say you’ll make money online through real estate, in the stock market, by selling goods or in other ways, but the biggest sign of an income scam is when someone promises you’ll make big money using their methods. They pressure you to join fast, and they’ll guarantee you’ll be successful.”

Officials say people have been especially vulnerable this year.

Before accepting any offers, make sure to do the following to protect yourself:

  • Take time to research
  • Don’t bank on a cleared check if you’re told to send money or buy gift cards
  • Look online for the company’s name with the words scam, review, or complaint
  • Report the scams by CLICKING HERE

“Here’s the reality - there’s no such thing as a guaranteed way to make money if you see an offer like that. It’s a scam. Period,” said Rhonda Perkins of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC.

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