The U.S. is stepping up efforts to combat scams targeting the unemployed by promising jobs and the opportunity to "be your own boss," the Federal Trade Commission announced.
Federal and state officials have brought actions — such as filing criminal charges or reaching settlements — in dozens of cases over the past year as part of a continuing enforcement effort, said Peter Kaplan, an FTC spokesman.
Victims "risked their limited financial resources in response to the promise of a job, an income — a chance at a profitable home-based business," said David C. Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, in the statement. "These turned out to be empty promises, and the people who counted on them ended up with high levels of frustration and even higher levels of debt."
Last year, the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean reported complaints and inquiries about such operations were up over the previous year.
The Florida Attorney General's Office also logged dozens of complaints last year regarding work-at-home programs. And the FTC saw complaints about business opportunities and employment-related operations double in four years, to a total of 22,896 last year.
U.S. targets schemes promising jobs and to be your own boss
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.