Job Seekers Uncover Scams On State Job Search Website

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UPDATED: Friday August 8, 2014 7:04 PM

A state website that's supposed to put people back to work could be putting people in touch with scammers.

10 Investigates found multiple job seekers who have responded to potentially bogus job postings, including Pennie Shoemaker.

She uses the state website called Ohio Means Jobs to look for a job.  She said the state requires it to get unemployment benefits.

Pennie thought her search had finally paid off when a company gave her an online interview, then offered her a job.

But there was a catch.

"It turned out to be a work at home project where they send me checks to purchase items," Shoemaker said.

The company sent her a check for $3,300.

It told her to deposit it and then immediately spend her own money to buy equipment from one of its distributors.

That's when she knew the company was bogus.

And it wasn't the only bad offer.

Another company offering jobs on the same state website also sent her a check that seems to be phony.

Shoemaker said she called the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), but was told no one could help her.

"I wanted them (state) to investigate that it was a fraud, but they were like we don't have time to do that," said Shoemaker.

In a statement, ODJFS spokesman Ben Johnson said he started investigating following questions from 10 Investigates.

Johnson said, "we researched the postings and found a total of 24 (bogus listings). That's .016%.  All have been removed.  OhioMeansJobs.com is a valuable resource."

The state said it screens its website for problems.

Johnson said there are other ways to qualify for benefits besides using the website.

The Department of Jobs and Family Services encourages anyone to call if they suspect a job posting may be a scam.

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