Scammers are taking advantage of the recession to con people desperately seeking work out of what little cash they have left, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Watchdog groups warn that phony work-from-home offers promising quick cash in return for an initial outlay of money are proliferating, and that some fraudsters are also using job applications to harvest personal information for identity theft.
Some scams take place online, like one operation busted in Georgia recently that charged people $260 to train as bartenders for a nonexistent nightclub. Experts strongly advise jobseekers to be on their guard. "If it sounds too good to be true, most of the time it is," said one woman. She is still fighting to get her money back from a firm that charged her $75 after she ordered a $1.97 CD on how to earn money online.