NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of New Yorkers allegedly scammed out of thousands of dollars by a job placement company is demanding justice.
Dozens walked the streets on Thursday, going from building to building, trying to find help in their case.
Fueled by frustration, a dozen job seekers who said they were ripped off by a work placement company called United Care Services, pounded the pavement with one common goal — to get their money back and to prevent it from happening to someone else.
“People shouldn’t be preying on people who really [have] nothing or trying to make ends meet. You’re taking what little they have to try to feed their families or pay their bills,” scam victim Daryl Ogarra told CBS 2′s Dana Tyler.
“We’ll hopefully be able to go far with this and only pray that we can help people that are not even here — who lost hope in getting their money,” said victim Jackie Arias.
The group first went to court but were told its case was too big for small claims. The group was directed to a legal services organization.
“I’ve never seen such a big, well-organized group come together and come to a legal services office looking for justice…as well as being concerned about identity theft, and the collateral consequences of having given out very personal sensitive information,” attorney Anamaria Segura said.
In addition to giving away their money, the victims also gave out their Social Security numbers and other personal information. Some went to get their money back on Monday.
The only worker left at the placement company couldn’t help and fled. The company then abandoned its offices.
People’s personal information was found just strewn about. Knowing they weren’t the only ones, the job seekers found strength in numbers.
“Sometimes it takes something this harsh to bring a bunch of strangers together,” Arias said.
Together, they also went to the Attorney General’s Qffice to open an investigation.
“My hope is that the Attorney General’s Office will be able to move quickly after processing all the complaints and find the perpetrators before they sort of disappear,” Segura said.
One of the biggest challenges in scams like the one faced by the victims in New York is that the perpetrators either spend all the money before they’re tracked down by law enforcement or they really physically cannot be found.
At this point, the victims want the scam artists caught and prosecuted.
“Do the investigation, arrest these people, lock these people up because it just ain’t right,” victim Daryl Ogarra said.
“They can’t continue hurting people,” Arias said. “We’re not going to stop, there’s no stopping.”
Members of the group are urging other victims to join them in their quest. They will be gathering outside the offices where United Care Services occupied this coming Tuesday at 11 a.m.
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