March 5, 2007
It sounds like a great deal: working a job where you get to travel to the Caribbean on a luxurious cruise ship.
But looks can be deceiving.
Derrick Toole thought he had it made in the shade--a chance to do what he loves while riding the high seas in the tropics.
It turns out the only ride he got is the one a business that he calls a fraud took him on.
Derrick has always loved cooking, and a few weeks ago, he thought he found a great job doing what he loves.
He responded to an ad he saw in a local newspaper advertising a job aboard a cruise ship.
"'You'll be working two weeks. You get paid $625 a week, and the paychecks come in bi-weekly. You'll stop in the Bahamas,'" Derrick said, recalling the job description. "That was good for me."
He called the number and was directed to what he calls a legitimate-looking website where he applied for a job as an assistant food and beverage manager.
"They called me and told me I had the job."
He faxed them some more information and everything seemed ok.
But things got a little weird when he was told to pay $150 for a uniform.
"They said the reason they do this is because they gave out uniforms previously and people never came to work."
He sent the money anyway, by way of money order. And then he waited and waited.
The uniform never came. Not only that, but he had also sent in vital information that someone could use to steal his identity.
Derrick says he thinks he was scammed and that Global Coast Cruises doesn't exist.
12 On Your Side did some research on the company.
Its ad was just removed from careerbuilder.com in the past couple of days.
A web search shows several other media outlets around the country reporting on people with similar stories to Derrick's.
Well known cruise company Carnival Cruises has a message posted on its website warning people of fraudulent advertisements from companies that ask for a uniform deposit.
And the Global Coast website that Derrick went to for more information is no longer working.
Now Derrick will keep looking for another job...and the only cooking he'll be doing will be in his kitchen.
"That's a hard earned lesson for some hard earned dollars," he said.
The Better Business Bureau says if you have to pay money in order to get a job, you might want to think twice about it.
Otherwise, you might never see that money you sent in again.