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|FOR RELEASE: The Global Economic Crisis and Employment-Related Fraud|
|Friday, 10 October 2008|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In Hard Times, Real Jobs Needed
(Seattle, WA - October 10, 2008) The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced last week that another 159,000 jobs were lost in the United States in September 2008. Over two million Americans have been out of work for a year or more. Because people are struggling to stay afloat amid a national economic crisis, many are more easily falling prey to job phishers.
PhishBucket founder Tabatha Marshall believes that with millions of people struggling to make ends meet, there needs to be more emphasis on immediately improving domestic job markets, and that the corporate community needs to take responsibility and act quickly to ensure that this happens.
Said Ms. Marshall, "Former homeowners might have to start renting, former car owners might have to resort to taking the bus, but what's going to happen after a year of unemployment when you've run out of money, exhausted your benefits, the majority of the job offers you’re getting are fraudulent, and there's nowhere left to turn?"
• In 2007, over 800,000 identity theft and fraud complaints were reported to the Consumer Sentinal by the FTC and several other data contributors. Since it is probable that not all victims filed reports, the actual number of identity theft and fraud victims may be significantly higher.
• In 2007, over 1.2 billion dollars was lost by consumers due to fraud, excluding identity theft—a slight rise from 2006, which reported 1.1 billion dollars in losses.
• Overall, the financial loss to consumers reported for 2007 reflected over 500,000 reported fraud complaints, but this number didn’t account for losses resulting from identity theft or account for any unreported losses.
• About 14 percent of all Internet fraud reported in the United States in 2007 was employment-related.A recent analysis of PhishBucket's site statistics and fraudulent job offers reported over the last 12 months indicated that job seekers in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and Spain are currently the top targets of employment-related fraud. Several of these countries—the US, UK and Spain in particular—are experiencing similar economic spirals that are contributing negatively to the job market and making millions of jobless individuals very easy marks.
• In Spain the unemployment rate is currently at 11.3%, the highest in 10 years after the recent 4.2% increase. This increase in unemployment is being felt as a consequence of the current economic climate in Spain. According to the Wall Street Journal, Spain is said to be working on a bailout package similar to the bill currently passed in the US.
• In the UK, 1.72 million people lost jobs over the past year; the unemployment rate is currently at 5.5% and trending up. About 400,000 people in the UK have been unemployed for a year or more, and it's anticipated that this number will reach 700,000 by the end of 2009. The employment rate is expected to increase to 6.0% until 2010, at which time it’s said there will be a positive turn in growth in the wake of their recent bank bailout plan.
• Although Canadians are seeing positive employment growth, there have been some disagreements as to the degree in which the country will be affected by the economic meltdowns occurring around them. The unemployment rate in Canada has remained steady at 6.1%, with 1.1 million people currently unemployed, but there have been noticeable declines in merchandise importing and exporting, with volumes down, particularly with the US.
• Australia is said to be holding up through the financial turmoil of the past week; still, almost half a million people are out of work, and 89,000 people are unemployed in New Zealand, which has a 3.9% employment rate. Despite a reportedly strong labor market, Australia and New Zealand are both experiencing a negative impact on their currency values, which dropped significantly over the summer of 2008.
"If you do the math," said Ms. Marshall, "these countries have well over 8 million people out of work among them. Many have been unemployed a year or more now and are desperate for work, which makes them extremely vulnurable to a well-worded job offer." When the financial loss to online fraud victims ranges from $350 to $2400 per person, and this happens to someone who's been unemployed for this length of time or who’s been living paycheck to paycheck, the consequences to their lives can be devastating.
Without legitimate jobs to turn to, bailouts might not be enough to help people recover from the current crises. It can be argued that no matter how balanced or unbalanced these economies are, regardless of whether or not the employment climate improves, job seekers will remain vulnerable to job scams. But if the countries experiencing significant economic hardship take action right now by creating opportunities to get their unemployed back to work, we might finally see a noticeable reduction in employment fraud and possibly stand a chance of recovering from the financial catastrophes in front of us now.
Contact : Tabatha Marshall – tabatha / at / tabathamarshall / dot / com
PhishBucket is a WA nonprofit corporation that tracks and investigates reported fraudulent job offers and works with law enforcement and other organizations worldwide to protect and educate job seekers about employment-related fraud.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics September 2008: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
2007 Consumer Sentinel report: http://www.ftc.gov/sentinel/reports/sentinel-annual-reports/sentinel-cy2007.pdf
New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey June 2008 Quarter:
Australia Labour Force Statistics September 2008: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0
UK Labour Market Statistics September 2008:
Canada Labour Force Survey September 2008:
Spain Labor Force Statistics:
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