You may have heard complaints from unemployed constituents in the midst of a job search. They may have seen 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 they guarantee will lead to a job. Here are some tips for them from the FTC:
— 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. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity. Be cautious about buying 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 have jobs available when they’re really selling general information about getting a job.
Cut and paste these tips or the FTC’s other free content into your district newsletter, link to it on your Member’s website or hand out publications in town hall meetings. Share the FTC’s new video about avoiding job scams with your network. Learn more at ftc.gov/jobscams.