By: Nicole Collier
TOLEDO, Ohio (WUPW) – When summer jobs are hard to find, teens might get desperate for work and cash.
Minimum wage might not be enough to fund all of a teens summer plans. One local author says when opportunities seem too good to be true, offering chances for travel and loads of cash, teens should beware.
At the age of 18, Adam Brandt was looking to start a career, and was seduced by a newspaper ad for work promising those three things.
The job was selling magazines, but Brandt says the job was more about selling lies. It required him to be a different person every day.
“I’m so and so from whichever college was in town,” Brandt explained. “As a part of our trip or year end classwork we’re selling magazines. Generally people feel more comfortable opening up their wallets to someone that’s local and from the neighborhood who’s trying to accomplish something.”
Brandt says traveling sales groups like these prey on teens with big dreams of making it.
“When you’re that age you want to do it on your own. You’re not going to tell your parents I’m doing this, or that, you say hey I got this job and I’m going to be traveling across the country making tons of money,” the author said.
Brandt says those promises from the ad were lies. He made barely enough money to eat, and was often in unsafe conditions. He says he felt too ashamed to turn to his parents for help. However, now that doesn’t have to be the case.
“Parents need to be on the lookout for these things. If it seems too good to be true in the paper. probably 90 percent of the time it is,” Brandt said.
The National Consumers League lists youth traveling sales groups as one of the five most dangerous jobs for teens in 2011.