Services spring up to aid jobless but some may be scams

As the area's jobless ranks continue to swell, entrepreneurs are increasingly targeting the newly unemployed with services that may help them land a job — or strip them of much needed cash.

This week, a Huntersville woman published a new magazine featuring other displaced professionals. And a former NASCAR worker who launched a Web site is helping colleagues survive job losses.

But some unemployed workers say they have been hit up for costly resume and job hunt help, and the N.C. Attorney General's Office is warning about a host of scams targeting people searching for work.

The burst of activity represents a classic case of supply and demand as more service providers focus on the growing jobless market, said Ted Zoller, who runs the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Some such businesses are more well-intentioned than others, he said.

"Unfortunately there's a propensity for people entering the market to not be qualified to provide services," Zoller said. "I'm afraid many people would take advantage" of the unemployed.

Hundreds of people stood outside a Charlotte hotel last week to enter a job fair, and as they waited in line, several people worked the crowd, offering fliers to work at home, invest in IRAs and buy health insurance.

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