Many of us have seen these ads online, on TV, and in newpapers: “Job placement – Guaranteed!” or “Interview Today. Start Tomorrow.”

When we’re out of work, an ad promising a job starts to look really good. But what happens if we follow through with a click or a call? Do we get that “guaranteed” job?

Virtually never – according to the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint database, and according to a recent ABC News investigative piece. “Nightline” sent in a producer undercover after hearing complaints from several New York consumers.

This is the experience of thousands of people the FTC heard from last year. Someone promises you a job – if you pay up front: For training. For certification. For supplies. For “secret” government jobs listings.

But you’re left with less money than you started with and nothing to show for it – often at exactly the time you can least spare the cash.

What to do? As the FTC’s own Mónica Vaca said in the news story: “Never pay for the promise of a job.”

It might sound really good and hopeful – but ask yourself this: Can you afford to kiss that money goodbye? Because that’s the likely outcome.

If you paid someone money to get a job, let the Federal Trade Commission know. Their investigators are looking for these bad guys, and you can help FTC find them. And spread the word about job scams and other scams. You can be the difference that helps someone else not get scammed.

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