Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is alerting job-seekers to Career Systems, LLC, www.careersystemsllc.com
, a Vail-based employment services company, owned by Richard and Ramona Friedberg, former principals of Tucson-based Government Careers, Inc. (GCI).
Like GCI before it, Career Systems posts advertisements on Internet employment sites, including Yahoo Hot Jobs. The advertisements state that if consumers sign up for Career Systems’ counseling service for a $129 fee, the company will guide them towards employment with a federal agency, such as the postal service or border patrol.
Current advertisements posted on Yahoo Hot Jobs state that “If you are underemployed with your industry and are ready to make a move in a secure career, then let one of our career advisors help you obtain a position in one of the many positions currently available.”
Between June and December of 2009, BBB received 50 complaints against GCI as consumers across the nation searched for jobs amidst the worst recession in 60 years. GCI was BBB’s third most complained about company in 2009, with complaints coming from over 20 states.
In January 2010 Attorney General Terry Goddard and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a joint lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Government Careers Inc. (GCI) and owners Jon Coover, Richard Friedberg, and Rimona Friedberg for engaging in allegedly deceptive employment services. Goddard’s office estimates that as many as 10,000 people across the country are victims, including more than 1,500 Arizona residents. In the complaint the AG and the FTC directed Government Careers Inc., its owners, and affiliates from engaging further in this line of business.
BBB has not received any complaints against Career Systems LLC, but has received 23 consumer inquiries since the company began advertising in late April.BBB Tips for job seekers:
- Be wary of any company that claims they can guarantee employment with a government agency or guarantee success on government tests for employment. If you have any questions about the government hiring process, directly contact the agency you are interested in applying.
- Study materials for various government jobs are available for free directly through the government agency you’re applying with or at your local library.
- If you are interested in employment with the USPS, Border Patrol, or with another federal agency, all employment opportunities are posted on each respective agency’s website. Government agencies typically will not advertise employment opportunities on Web sites such as Careerbuilder.com or Yahoo! Hot Jobs.
- Never enter into a contract with a company without reading the contract first; don’t provide payment information until you have a physical copy of the contract in your possession.
- Always request that the business clearly explain or direct you to the refund/cancellation policy prior to signing a contract.
- If something in the contract doesn’t make sense, ask someone you trust to review it before signing anything.