Career Opportunity Scams Explained by NYC Criminal Lawyer
When offering or advertising career opportunities, the law requires you are honest about the job terms and conditions. Charging for access to job information can sometimes be illegal if you do not follow through with what you promise to consumers. Other types of job scams can also lead to criminal charges, including online job scams. With the widespread proliferation of the Internet, online offerings of career opportunities online have become especially common and authorities have aimed to crack down on fraud in Internet job postings.
Whether you are accused of running job scams offline or online, you could actually face criminal charges not just in the state of New York but also in a federal court. A U.S. Attorney or a state prosecutor could bring multiple charges against you that could lead to decades of imprisonment. You need to understand the possible penalties you face when you are accused of wrongdoing and you need to be smart and strategic about crafting a defense so you can protect yourself.
What are Career Opportunity Scams?
Career opportunity scams involve any scams where consumers are misled about job openings or job opportunities. The scams may be intended to obtain personal information from job-seekers to commit identity theft offenses, or may involve attempts to obtain money from consumers.
The New York Department of Labor warns that many job scams use email, Facebook, Craigslist, and other popular websites that are also used by companies offering legitimate jobs. However, job scams can also be advertised in other ways as well, including mail or telephone communications and newspaper advertisements. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Types of Job Scams
Any attempt to mislead or provide inaccurate information regarding a work opportunity can be classified as a job scam and can lead to criminal fraud charges. However, there are certain types of job scams that are especially common, and that have prompted warnings by government authorities including the Federal Trade Commission. Some of the most common types of job scams include:
- Mystery shopper scams, in which consumers pay to become “mystery shoppers” so they can earn money by going to stores and restaurants and reporting on conditions. After the consumer pays to become a mystery shopper, no jobs are actually provided.
- Government job scams, in which consumers pay to have access to government jobs or to apply to government jobs. No legitimate government jobs require application fees and legitimate job placement services also do not generally require fee payments to see government job openings.
- Job listings in which consumers are promised certain minimum income amounts. These job scams often involve commission-based jobs, where earnings are actually uncertain or very low. In some cases, consumers are not actually provided with jobs at all but instead are tricked into giving up personal information or into participating in money muling scams.
- Job listings designed to obtain credit card information, personal information, or financial information from consumers. The purpose of the scams is to obtain information to steal the consumer’s identity, to empty financial accounts, or to take out credit or debt in the consumer’s name.
- Money muling scams: Jobs are offered for purposes of getting applicants to serve as money mules. The applicants receive money through fraudulent wire transfers or cashiers checks and then are asked to send some or all of that money to those involved in the scam.
The FTC and other state and local government agencies aim to protect consumers from career opportunity scams by requiring disclosures on business opportunity listings, and by investigating accusations of fraud. If you fail to follow rules for job advertisements online, in the newspaper, or via other advertising mediums, you could find yourself facing charges.
Penalties for Career Opportunity Scams
Penalties for job scams vary, as there are many different laws criminalizing fraud on the state and federal level. New York Penal Law Article 190 addresses prohibited fraud offenses in the state and 18 U.S. Code Chapter 63 addresses prohibited fraud offenses at the federal level.
For online job scams, a defendant could also be charged under 18 U.S. Code Section 1030, which is the statute prohibiting fruad in connection with the use of computers.
Participating in a career opportunity scam could result in multiple criminal charges, such as charges related to wire and mail fraud for the use of the computer and postal service to commit the offense. Each charge may carry serious penalites. Mail fraud or wire fraud alone could each result in a maximum prison sentence of 20 years imprisonment or 30 years imprisonment if a financial institution was defrauded in some manner.
A New York City Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Help If You’re Accused of Job Scams
Defendants accused of career opportunity scams can argue that they were offering legitimate career opportunities, or that there is insufficient proof they committed the crime they have been accused of. There are many different ways to raise defenses and fight charges, especially as you must be considered innocent until you have been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A New York City criminal fraud defense lawyer at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC will help you to explore all of your options for fighting to avoid conviction. Our attorneys can also assist with the negotiation of a plea agreement in an effort to reduce charges associated with career opportunity scams. Call today to learn more about how we can assist you in fighting charges and fighting for your freedom.