FTC Sends Refund Checks to 75,000 Job Scam Victims

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Federal Trade Commission is sending out refund checks to about 75,000 people who were duped into participating in online work-at-home scams.

Approximately $729,700 is being returned to consumers who agreed to pay Abili-Staff Ltd. a fee of up to $90 in exchange for access to job listings. The FTC alleges that Abili-Staff promised consumers refunds if they did not get a job, but never sent the refunds. 

The average payment per person will be about $9.70, the FTC says. Consumers receiving checks from the FTC's refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the date they were issued.

The reimbursements are the result of a court order issued earlier this year in a case against Abili-Staff, which was part of the FTC’s ongoing crackdown on fraudulent work-at-home scams that have become prevalent following the economic downturn.

In March, the FTC issued a video that outlines how to readily spot these types of phony operations. The video explains that offers that seem too good to be true usually are, and that no one should pay a fee in exchange for job listings.

Consumers can also learn what types of information they should request from companies they are thinking about doing business with on the  FTC website, including a list of references, disclosures of previous lawsuits and earning claim statements that indicate how much money previous clients may have made.

You can learn three more ways to tell if a recruiter is legitimate in this MainStreet article.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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