Thousands of job seekers say they've been taken in by employment schemes that begin the same way: attractive job offers that wind up being little more than sales pitches.
Among them is Pat Logue. After working nearly 30 years at Brock Tools & Equipment, Logue said he found himself unpredictably unemployed when his employer claimed bankruptcy.
On the hunt for a new job for the first time in decades, Logue said he responded to an ad on CareerBuilder for what seemed like a perfect opportunity. His spirits were lifted when he got a call just two days later.
But Logue said the job interview he had inside an office building in Oak Brook Terrace ultimately turned into something else.
The company behind the ad -- The EDC Group -- was not, in fact, hiring anyone but instead offering to be hired in Logue's job search.
"The total was $13,000," said Logue.
He said the company told him he'd get that money back in the form of a signing bonus from one of the many companies where EDC's website boasted it had placed clients.
"They will advertise as if they have an open job and really the only thing they're selling is information," said Federal Trade Commission spokesman Todd Kossow.
For the leg up he was promised last spring, Logue said he got little more than a video of a practice interview. Shortly afterward, EDC claimed bankruptcy and leaving Logue out thousands of dollars.
"I've worked honestly for 28 years," said Logue. "I don't see how anybody can wake up in the morning and be -- just knowing they're taking people down a path that's a dead end," said Logue.
The FTC said last year it received roughly 36,000 complaints about employment schemes, many of which began the same way Logue described. NBC Chicago contacted several dozen of the companies with which The EDC Group claimed to have worked and was unable to locate a single entity that had a relationship with or had even heard of the firm.
Through his attorney, the owner of EDC said his company tried to be clear about how it could help job-seekers and said he regrets any dissatisfaction.