Dozens allegedly duped by fake job opportunity through Career Services Center

Dozens allegedly duped by fake job opportunity through Career Services Center »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Police are investigating an alleged scammer who got away with as much as $6,000 after posting a fake job opportunity with Career Services Center.

One alleged victim said he's had an uphill battle searching for work. Jesus Lopez supports his wife and child. For the past few months he's been searching for a security job, but, with few companies hiring, Lopez turned to Career Services Center.

"They gave me a job listing, and I called a guy who went by the name of Wayne Porter," said Lopez.

Career Services Center directed Lopez to call Constant Watch Security Co. He spoke directly to Porter, who was supposed to be the Constant Watch Security Co. manager.

"I thought it was legit. Not only because I got the job listing through Career Services, but because my other friend got it out of Cal Jobs," said Lopez.

However, what Lopez didn't know was he was about to become the victim of an apparent scam. Over the phone, Porter asked Lopez for his driver's license and Social Security number. Porter then told Lopez to load a prepaid card with $170 for security training.

When Lopez met for training, Porter never showed. Dozens of job seekers, who also showed up for training, grew suspicious.

"As we took information, it was like any other security job we had seen in the past. There was nothing unusual. We immediately did research on our end, the employer's account was suspended," said Career Services Center program coordinator Bill Stevenson.

Stevenson said he would encourage anyone who is a job scam victim to contract the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and file a complaint.

But how could a scam fall through the cracks of Career Services Center?

Stevenson said people have to try to ask the right questions to verify information thorough different channels. If an employer is asking for money and information like driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers or money before a job offer or before filling out application, those are red flags.

Angry, Lopez is warning others.

"In a way, I was trying to better myself to get a better job and provide for my family, but in the end I came out empty handed," said Lopez.

Lopez said about 30 job seekers were scammed out of money.

Eyewitness News tried searching for Porter but we were unable to locate him.