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Citizens Advice warning on phoney job scams
Those struggling to find work or facing money problems are being targeted with phoney job scams, Citizens Advice has warned.

Some 22,000 scams of all kinds have been recorded by the advice service in England and Wales in the past 12 months.

However, many more are thought to go unreported.

Citizens Advice is particularly concerned about scams that make false promises about jobs and clearing debts.

It has joined forces with trading standards departments to run an awareness campaign throughout May that warns people of the scams that are in operation.
'Quick buck'

The economic climate has offered con-artists the opportunity to exploit individuals, the charity has warned.

Changes to the welfare system may lead to an increase in the number of fake landlords trying to take deposits for properties that are not available.

There have been cases of fraudsters who make offers of loans to help clear debts. But after the victim pays an upfront fee, no assistance is provided.

In addition, fraudsters are adding to the woes of those who have lost their jobs or are looking for work.

These scams include phantom training courses. One 24-year-old responded to an advert for a plumbing course and was told he needed to have the £3,950 of fees and £100 registration charge ready.

The victim was told that he could start when he was ready to pay, but was then chased up for the money through a debt collection company.

He took out an interest-free loan to fund the course, but after handing the money over he was then told he had been "timed out" of the course and would not be given his money back.

This was typical of some of the job-based scams, which also included fake promises of jobs, that have led to the warning by Citizens Advice.

"This month we are warning people to be on the look out for rogues looking to make a quick buck at their expense and reminding that scams are crimes so it is vital they are reported," said Gillian Guy, the charity's chief executive.

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