Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray has sued three Northeast Ohioans for their roles in NSA Techologies, a work from home business scheme that left consumers without promised jobs and out of money.

"As unemployed Ohioans searched for jobs, these individuals sought to profit from the desperation of others," said Cordray. "My office has received more than 100 complaints from consumers who felt that they were ripped off by the deceptive practices of NSA Technologies. With this lawsuit, I intend to collect full restitution and stop the abhorrent business practices of these three individuals."

The lawsuit charges NSA Technologies LLC and its principals, Mark W. Jenney of Akron; Victor J. Bierman III of Broadview Heights; and Vincent E. Fisher of Copley with multiple violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act (CSPA).

According to the lawsuit, NSA Technologies advertised work from home jobs, self-employment guides and job placement services through online ads. In the suit, Cordray accuses the operation of taking money from Ohioans in payment some victims paid hundreds of dollars apiece and then not providing the services that were purchased.

Additionally, the trio issued flyers to patrons after the purchase, threatening to "blacklist" consumers through www.badcustomer.com if the bank charges were disputed.

The lawsuit charges the operation with violations that include failure to deliver or provide refunds, unfair or deceptive sales practices and unconscionable acts. Cordray is seeking restitution, civil penalties and a permanent injunction.

Work from home jobs - a few tips

Cordray offers the following tips to protect Ohioans searching for work at home jobs:

• Don't pay for help finding work. Some business opportunities involve upfront costs, but for most jobs, you should be making money, not spending it. Be suspicious of companies that make you pay for "exclusive information," mandatory training sessions, starter kits or other materials, especially if they ask you to wire transfer money to a foreign country.

• Check a company's reputation with the Better Business Bureau and search complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

• Don't trust unrealistic salaries or vague job descriptions. Demand a detailed description of the work involved before you commit to a job.

• Beware of lengthy contracts. Don't sign a contract without reading the fine print. Scam artists may try to slip in certain clauses, hoping you won't read them. Written contracts generally are binding, so take the contract to an attorney or trusted friend to review, and don't sign until you fully understand the agreement.

• Take your time. Don't give in to high-pressure tactics. If a company doesn't give you enough time to review a contract or make a decision, don't do business with it.

• Be wary of suspicious interviews. Interviews that take place at unusual locations (such as hotel lobbies, restaurants or other locations outside a normal place of business) are fishy. Be skeptical of group interviews and representatives that seem to be selling the company to you. If you feel pressured, walk away. You probably have good reason to be suspicious.