The ads make it sound easy; let the advertised firm train and place you in a new job, or set you up in a work-at-home business that will triple your income. It hardly ever works out that way, however.
Now, the State of Florida has issued subpoenas to eight firms suspected of running employment or work-at-home scams.
"Unemployed Floridians are particularly vulnerable to scams that falsely promise quick fixes for people who are jobless," said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. "With the unemployment rate in Florida at record highs, we need to be vigilant in our efforts against people looking to capitalize on someone else's difficulties."
One of the firms receiving a subpoena is Career Services International, based in Orlando. McCollum's office is investigating allegations that the company misrepresents available services and collects fees for those services, but fails to provide them. Consumers have complained that the quality of service was not what the company had promised and indicated problems with missed deadlines, untrained employees, and lack of advertised expertise.
The subpoena is one of a series issued over the past several months targeting employment scams and was announced today to highlight the office's joint enforcement effort with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)and several other states. Seven other Florida companies have also received subpoenas investigating potential violations of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Allegations include misleading or deceptive marketing of work-from-home opportunities as well as job placement services and other Internet business ventures.
The other firms under investigation include:
Coretech Media LLC, doing business as Netcadetpro.com and Net Money Training, located in St. Petersburg; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices related to home business opportunity kits advertised over the internet
Darling Angel Pin Creations, Inc., located in Brandon; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices involving work at home job opportunity
GC Displays, Inc., doing business as Atlanticpacificonline.com, located in Clearwater; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices involving job placement services
Home Biz Ventures, LLC, doing business as Bidfuel.com and Blogtoolkit.com, located in Clearwater; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices involving internet business opportunity which offers on-line membership access to training and products to sell on auction sites
My Career Corp., Inc., located in Tampa; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices involving job placement services
Pacific Webworks, Inc., located in Salt Lake City, Utah; Investigation of unfair and deceptive trade practices involving work from home opportunities
Viable Marketing Corp., located in Seminole; Unauthorized recurring charges associated with negative option "work at home" internet business opportunity
McCollum says consumers should be wary of any company offering employment positions that require little or no education but claim to pay high wages, companies that charge an up-front fee for their services or products, companies that offer "memberships" to internet-based employment opportunities, and any other opportunity that sounds too good to be true.