A federal or postal job scam is a scam concerning job or employment opportunities with the U.S. government or the Postal Service. If have been presented with an opportunity to get information for a fee about federal employment opportunities, you may have been a victim of a scam.

How Can I Recognize a Scam?

You should never have to pay for information on job and employment opportunities with the U.S. government or the Postal Service. A federal or postal job scam typically appears in a classified advertisement. These classified ads purport to help those looking for a job to find and apply for federal jobs. You may also want to look out for "official-sounding" company names (i.e. "Postal Employment Service") that may try to link the fraudulent company with federal agencies.

Regarding Postal Jobs, What Should I Look Out for?

The United States Postal Service does not usually have many opportunities for career positions. Further, many entry-level jobs require a written examination. There are 85 local Postal Service district offices where hiring takes place. If you run into a scam, it may be a good idea to check with the Postal Service itself.

What Are Some Typical Scams?

Some typical federal and postal job scams include:

  • Advertisements referring to a toll-free number: You may be required to buy a pamphlet that contains job listings and help for any exams.
  • Advertisements offering information about "hidden" federal jobs.
  • Advertisements or sales pitches implying an affiliation with the federal government, guaranteeing high scores on examinations, or stating that "no experience is necessary."
  • Toll-free telephone numbers directing you to other pay-per-call numbers for more information: Disclosures about cost must be contained in any solicitations for pay-per-call numbers. Also, any solicitation must state if it is affiliated in any way with the federal government. Before sustaining any charges, you must be given a chance to hang up.

If you feel you have been victimized by such a scam, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. You may also wish to contact your state's attorney general or the local Better Business Bureau. Remember, if you want to learn about federal or Postal job opportunities, you do not have to pay for them; many can be found on the Internet.

Do I Need a Lawyer Experienced with Job Scams?

A lawyer may be able to help you recognize a federal or Postal job scam when you are confronted with one. A lawyer would also be able to inform you and help you deal with the various government agencies.