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Consumer News: Looking for a Job? Be Wary of Fake Employment Offers

In today’s economy, many people are looking for employment.  While there are good job opportunities with honest and reliable companies, Attorney General Terry Goddard is warning Arizona consumers to be cautious when seeking employment.    

Q. How can I tell if an employment agency is legitimate?

A. If you are looking for a job, you may come across ads from firms that promise to obtain employment on your behalf.  Although many firms are reputable, others may misrepresent their services, promote outdated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high upfront fees for services that may not lead to a job.  It is important to research the company offering to find employment before you decide to sign up.  

This Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission recently filed suit against Government Careers, Inc. (GCI), a company operating in Tucson. GCI advertised federal jobs online, offering consumers a booklet for $119 and career counseling for $965. The lawsuit alleges that GCI’s guarantee of government employment was bogus, that the booklet was worthless, and that GCI’s federal career counseling was non-existent.  

Q. What tips can you offer to Arizona consumers to follow?

  • Be suspicious of any employment agencies that require you to pay a substantial fee up front.  Legitimate companies should accept employment applications online.
  • Never give your credit card number or checking account information to an individual or business that promises employment. 
  • Never include your Social Security number, birthdate or driver’s license on an online resume. 
  • Be cautious of employers who use Web-based email like Yahoo or GMail instead of a corporate domain. 
  • Be especially wary of promises to get you a government job.

If you believe you are a victim of a fraud or scam, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763, in Tucson at 520.628.6504 or outside of the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431.  Consumers can also file complaints online at the Attorney General’s Web site atwww.azag.gov.  To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has satellite offices throughout the state with volunteers available to help.  Locations and hours of operation are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site.