The Federal Trade Commission today announced a nationwide ad campaign to alert consumers on how to avoid federal and postal job scams. Ads for these scams are often found in the classified sections of newspapers, offering – for a fee – to help job seekers find and apply for federal jobs. The FTC’s campaign includes placement of paid advertisements in newspapers across the country and also the creation of a Web site to advise consumers about potential job scams.
Fraudsters may lie about the availability of federal job openings in your area. If someone tells you that postal jobs are available, check with the Postal Service to determine if hiring is taking place and if an exam is required for eligibility. Remember, there is never a charge to apply for positions within the U.S. government or U.S. Postal Service. The FTC and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management urge job seekers to avoid falling for these tip-offs to federal and postal job rip-offs:
- Classified ads or verbal sales pitches that imply an affiliation with the federal government, guarantee high test scores or jobs, or state that “no experience is necessary.”
- Ads that offer information about “hidden” or unadvertised federal jobs.
- Ads that refer to a toll-free number.
- Toll-free numbers that direct you to other pay-per-call numbers for more information.
The FTC will utilize small and mid-size newspapers nationwide to send these messages to consumers across the country. Notices will be placed in the Sunday employment classified section, the most heavily read by job seekers. In addition, ads will be placed in community
papers to reach areas with the highest unemployment rates. Finally, job seekers will find the FTC’s ads in college newspapers, Internet banners, text ads, and search engine results.
To order copies of this or other FTC Consumer Alerts, visit bulkorder.ftc.gov. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available for hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.