Dream job' could be your worst nightmare

The economy is show ing signs of recover y. The unemployment numbers are less than predicted and the future looks better.

This is good news, because many are still seeking jobs. As the situation worsens, the need to find gainful employment pushes one into taking chances. Risks are bad compared to what?

Con artists are waiting for the opportunity to strike. They prey on the weak and desperate people, not giving a single thought to the struggles already endured.

At the right moment, an offer is made that is very attractive to a person needing work. The offer, however has a hidden agenda that requires money to be sent prior to an interview. reports that victims lose between $200 and $800 on the scam.

The reason the company wants a partial payment, is to cover part of the air fare to the headquarters and the up-front money is insurance that the person being considered for employment will actually show up.

The company does not want to make these elaborate plans for a bunch of "no shows."

The job involves some travel to exotic places and is called a "dream job." This seems to be a step up from the usual envelope stuffing jobs at home or the reshipper jobs of the past.

The dream job carries a special lure to the public through newspaper ads in the area. The ads mention fat paychecks, exotic locales, first-class accommodations and life among beautiful people.

Those falling for the bait are contacted and a time and place are arranged for the interview.

Before the appointed time for the interview, the con artist contacts the victim. The plans are changed. The company representative will visit the victim.

This change is explained. The company is very interested in you, so they want to visit you in your familiar sincerities. This will allow for more time to get to know one another better.

The real purpose for the backand forth plans for the interview is a stall for time. By the time the victim realizes he has been had, the con artist vanishes into thin air with the cash.

It would have been great to land the job as flight attendant which would require stops at the most popular resorts in the world or to be hired as security personnel for the rich and famous.

The victim is still unemployed plus he/she gave some stranger some of their precious money.

One can only rationalize that desperate people must take desperate chances.

But, do they really need to risk losing their money? Maybe you should make a rule for yourself.

Never send money up-front without a full investigation. Know the people you are dealing with. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for companies operating in your city or some other city where it claims to have its headquarters.

Does this company have a city license on file? Does City Hall know about this business? Have any complaints against this company been filed?

Other suggestions to protect yourself from these frauds are to realize that anyone can take out an ad from a newspaper or send you an e-mail.

This does not mean that the newspaper agrees or supports the content of the ad.

If the name of the company sounds real and impressive, you should investigate all the same. Con artists are good at forming good sounding names for some fictitious businesses.

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2009-08-27 digital edition

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