“I’m looking for work for a long time, I just got out of school, I have loans to pay back, and they just took the little bit that I had.”
Akilah O’Connor says 1st Security Preparation and Placement contacted her about a job opportunity right after she graduated from college back in 2010. After some training, she says the company promised her a job paying up to $20 an hour.
“First you go through two classes where you get your certification to do security, they find jobs for you, and place you in those positions.”
But O’Connor says she grew suspicious after the company asked for a deposit of almost $100 before the classes even started.
“The first clue that everybody said was wrong was they wanted money up front.”
So O’Connor filed a complaint against 1st Security.
Turns out, so did hundreds of other people who say they paid for classes but never got the jobs they were promised.
Now Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing 1st Security saying the company made false promises for jobs to trick unemployed consumers into paying for overpriced and unnecessary training courses. In a statement Schneiderman said:
“Posting phony job listings during an economic crisis is a particularly cynical effort to prey on the hopes of struggling workers and families. We will seek the maximum penalties against 1st Security as well as restitution for defrauded consumers.”
PIX11 went to 1st Security to find out what they had to say about the lawsuit, and talked to a man who refused to identify himself.
PIX11: “We’re doing a story about the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office.”
“I don’t know nothing about that.”
PIX11: “Is there a manager here? Somebody we can speak with?”
“No, there’s nobody here.”
PIX11: “Maybe the owner of the company?”
“The owner just stepped out, he won’t be back till maybe tomorrow.”
PIX11: “Have you been providing people jobs here?”
PIX11: “You don’t have any comment?”
And not only did the company refuse to answer our questions, it turns out they’re still holding classes regularly.
Alexandria Frazier told us she had already given the company 80-bucks for the course, before we told her about the Attorney General’s lawsuit.
“It makes me really nervous, I hope I’m not being scammed.”
Now if 1st Security is found guilty they could be forced to shutdown their entire operation and pay up to $5,000 for each person who went through the training.