Job seekers targeted in latest scam

June 2, 2010 3:36:23 PM PDT
The cleanup of the BP oil spill is going to be a massive job. But if you are out of work, beware of the oil spill cleanup scam. British Petroleum has issued that warning since apparently scammers posing as BP employees are out there taking money from job seekers instead of offering a job.

Out of work for eight months, Taurean Brock says he's more than willing to work cleaning up the Gulf oil spill.

He said, "I would definitely jump on that ASAP and it's something that I think we need to get into."

Francisco Morgan has been out of work for more than a year and would also go to the spill site for work.

"I was going to go to Afghanistan with KBR and work," Morgan said. "So it would be no problem for me going down there to work as long as they got the suits and all that."

While Brock and Morgan are ready to work, British Petroleum is warning them and all other job seekers about a scam involving cleanup work. Apparently people are falsely claiming to be from BP and offering applicants job training and placement for a fee.

The company says it never charges money to train or hire applicants. The Houston Better Business Bureau says that goes for all legitimate job offers.

Leah Napoliello with the Houston BBB explained, "Any time someone says you have to pay a fee to get a job, that's a huge red flag. You should never have to pay a fee to get any sort of job whatsoever."

Napoliello says it's not surprising job scam offers are surfacing right now.

"With the economy the way it is right now, you will start to see a lot of these kinds of scams cropping up," she cautioned. "People are looking for jobs and wanting to find something so there is a very vulnerable population out there."

As for real oil spill cleanup jobs, those looking for employment tell us they have not seen any offers to go to the Gulf of Mexico.

Brock said, "I have heard people talking about it, but no offers."

"I am familiar with the work so yeah, I am right here looking for it," Morgan said. "I wish they had it up here right now. I would go."

We called several temporary job services and could not find any that were offering jobs here for work in Louisiana. Texas Workforce Solutions has a job offers page on its website, and they only post jobs from companies that have tax ID numbers, so the offers are legitimate.

Find more information posted on our Consumer Blog.


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