that promise glamorous jobs are very common in newspapers, magazines, email,
and Internet solicitations. Unfortunately, the ads rarely lead to employment.
Many of the
advertisements that describe fabulous job opportunities are placed by swindlers
interested only in making money. Suspicious job offers usually require people
to send money in advance or provide a credit card number in order to get
information, instead of receiving a fee after a person is hired.
Help wanted ads
that appear to promote actual jobs or offer information on position openings
when no jobs exist are deceptive and illegal under Wisconsin law. Employment
ads must also disclose any purchase or investment that is required.
Some ads claim
postal jobs are available with benefits. Interested persons are told to send a
fee (often around $39.95) for a packet of information. They later learn that
the local post office is not hiring workers or accepting postal exams.
Sometimes you receive the same postal application that can be obtained free of
charge from the postal service.
claim you can make hundreds of dollars a week by working out of the comfort of
your own home. One Wisconsin woman responded to an ad for home typists with the
potential to earn $35,000 a year. She paid $39.95, expecting to receive a list
of clients in need of typing services. Instead, she got several books on how to
improve her typing skills.
called an 800 telephone number printed in an ad which was soliciting workers to
address envelopes. She was then referred to a 900 number which contained a tape
recorded message instructing her to contact the local chamber of commerce for
names of companies that hire home workers. She was charged $25 for the 900
tempting to people looking for part-time work with flexible hours. Mystery
shopping jobs claim good pay, short hours, and a fun, interesting work
environment. Most mystery shoppers only work 1-2 hours per job, and can accept
or reject a job with just a day’s notice. The work usually consists of visiting
a store, making pre-determined purchases, and evaluating the customer service.
There are variations, such as going to a restaurant or hotel, and evaluating the
food, cleanliness, and overall attitude of the staff. In any case, the mystery
shopper will fill out a report after their work is done, and turn it in to
receive their pay.
Sounds like a
fun, legitimate job, right? Well unfortunately, if you want to participate, you
are likely to find hundreds of websites claiming to help you get daily work,
all for a $20 - $30 fee. But in most cases, these websites have one intent –
raking in your hard-earned cash, while providing very little useful information
or resources for helping you get work as a mystery shopper.
In reality, 99%
of these websites offer you nothing more than the following:
mystery shopping resources with non-working links, phone numbers, and e-mail
service or help in finding jobs.
No refunds if
you are dissatisfied. Most of these fly-by-night websites will not even respond
to your refund requests, and once their website gets shut down due to
complaints, they start another one under a different name.
sites with confusing navigation systems and information, and non-working pages.
should be aware that of the hundreds of mystery shopping websites, only a few are
legitimate sources for daily work.
sometimes claim that job openings are available with “a major telephone
company.” After calling for more information, consumers learn they must buy a
sample test package for about $35. Callers are falsely told that local
telephone companies will reimburse them for any materials they purchase if they
are not hired.
approaches and classes end, many young people look for summer and full time
jobs. A classified ad that reads, “travel the country, high pay, all transportation
and all expenses paid,” may sound good, but may not be what it seems.
The ads target
young adults to sell magazines or cleaning products door to door. The ads do
not list an employer name, but give a local phone number, and the interviews
are held in a local motel. When applicants accept the job, they usually are
required to leave within a day to join a sales crew in the field.
allege employees are subjected to poor and cramped living conditions, long
hours of selling door to door with sales meetings and sales-pitch rehearsals
late into the night. Employees claim that “all expenses paid” means they are
given a small nightly sum for meals and personal expenses which can be deducted
from their pay. Some employees do not get paid at all. They are told their
earnings remain “on the books” and they are charged for hotel expenses and
canceled orders. They may even be fined for misconduct. Some employees may find
themselves in debt to the company and feel unable to leave.
If someone you
know is tempted to join a traveling sales crew, make sure they get all the
details in writing and check out the company with the Bureau of Consumer
Protection and the Better Business Bureau. It could save young people a summer
opportunities are frequently advertised for Australia, the Persian Gulf, and
worldwide cruise ships. Some offer high paying jobs in Kuwait or adventures in
Alaskan canneries. Most of these ads merely provide lists of potential
employers in overseas locations.
woman answered an ad for a cruise line job. After providing a credit card
number, she was charged $129 for basic information about how to contact cruise
employment opportunities in the airline industry lure interested persons into
paying a fee (often as much as $100) to obtain an application.
Two women in
Wisconsin were victimized after they responded to an ad for flight attendants.
The women were told an international company was conducting interviews in Miami
for attendants on its corporate aircraft. They were directed to wire $180 as a
partial payment for airfare to Miami. The women were promised they would be
reimbursed for all costs and would receive detailed job information in the
mail. After sending the money, they received no plane tickets or job
Many of the
companies promoting jobs boast about “guaranteed refunds” if you are not
successfully placed. However, the conditional guarantees offered by companies
make it difficult to obtain refunds.
requires consumers to send a written refund request via certified mail no
sooner than 90 days and no later than 105 days after getting information,
obtain five rejection letters from the list of firms provided, and return all
materials in resalable condition. Even then, handling and processing costs,
plus a 20 percent restocking fee, are deducted from the refund.
thoroughly before getting involved. Call the Bureau of Consumer Protection to
check on complaints filed with the state: (800) 422-7128. Contact the Better
Business Bureau in Wisconsin at (800) 273-1002 or your local Chamber of
information about the company, including its street address and the name of its
owner or chief operating officer. Ask for a written explanation of income
claims and benefits offered.
of any job offer that requires an up-front fee. Be especially careful of
requests to wire payments.
employment ads that list a 900 telephone number. You will be charged either a
flat fee or a per-minute cost for each 900 call.
Use state job
service offices for current government job listings.
local libraries for other job search information, including help with writing
resumes and preparing for job interviews.