The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a crackdown on criminals who exploit the unemployed through online job scams.
Operation Bottom Dollar will target groups that use phoney or illegal job offers to con people out of money. The campaign will include legal action by the FTC as well as the US Department of Justice and other state agencies.
The FTC is hoping to catch criminals who use fraudulent or misleading postings, such as bogus job placement services and 'work from home' scams that attempt to extract money for items such as supplies and equipment.
The initiative is especially important in light of high unemployment levels, according to the FTC. Security experts have suggested that the large pool of people looking for work is a prime target for job scams and money laundering operations.
"Federal and state law enforcement officials will not tolerate those who take advantage of consumers in times of economic misfortune," said David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
"If you falsely advertise that you will connect people with jobs or with opportunities for them to make money working from home, we will shut you down.
"We will give your assets to the people you scammed and, when appropriate, we will refer you to the criminal authorities for prosecution."
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