Scamming the unemployed: Perhaps the only growth market out there

You gotta love scam artists. Their objective, of course, is to separate people from their money. Quite often, unfortunately, the target of their scams are those who can least afford it. These people are vulnerable and the crooks know it.

In Florida, officials are warning residents there who have lost their jobs to avoid falling prey to a scam in which a purported business claims it will file an unemployment claim for a fee. Hint: the claim doesn't get filed.

"It really is unthinkable that a con artist would try to victimize someone trying to receive assistance in a time of need," Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said.

While Florida is a notorious scam magnet, particularly with some communities there disproportionately stocked with senior citizens, this is racket that could pop up anywhere. Now, with unemployment nationwide surpassing 8% (with no signs of slowing), crooks have a growing number of targets.

If anyone suggests you pay them to file an unemployment claim, run the other way or turn them in to your state's attorney general. And, if you have recently lost your job and need to file a claim, follow this link from the federal government and find your state's unemployment office to get more information about how to properly file a claim. It doesn't cost a cent.
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