Career Center Warns Against Job Scams
Originally posted on ftc.gov
If you’re looking for a job, you may see ads for firms that promise results. Many of these firms may be legitimate and helpful, but others may misrepresent their services, promote out-dated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees in advance for services that may not lead to a job.
Before you spend money responding to placement firms or completing placement contracts:
- Reject any company that promises to get you a job.
- Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.
- Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money. Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don’t appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.
- Take your time reading the contract. Don’t be caught up in a rush to pay for services. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity.
- Be cautious about purchasing services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.
- Be aware that some listing services and “consultants” write their ads to sound like they are jobs when they’re selling general information about getting a job.
- Follow up with the offices of any company or organization mentioned in an ad or an interview by an employment service to find out if the company is really hiring.
- Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public on www.usajobs.gov.
- Check with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed about a company with which you intend to do business. You also may contact these organizations if you have a problem with an employment-service firm.
As always, feel free to contact the University of South Carolina Career Center
for information on job searching and other career-related topics.