Amid the oil spill's waters, scams emerge

Miami HeraldJuly 8, 2010 

Scroll through Craigslist in cities along the Florida Panhandle and in Alabama, and dozens of ads appear with offers for expensive training guaranteed to net jobs cleaning up oil.

Not all the jobs are real. Not all the training is legitimate.

Neither are claims by at least two publicly traded companies that say they were involved in cleanup operations from the Gulf oil spill.

Just as the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters prompted an outpouring of financial help, people looking for a quick profit have surfaced since oil began gushing after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April, preying on people who are unemployed, looking to make fast cash in the stock market or donate to the needy.

``Whenever there's an emergency situation like this, there's people that are going to try to make money,'' said Kathy Karshna, assistant director of the Workforce EscaRosa, a nonprofit jobs agency overseen by the state.

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