These employees thought they found a good job opportunity. They think they found a scam instead.

What over 25 people thought was a great job opportunity for the New Year turned into an unplanned situation that they are calling a scam.

Four people said they started working at a company called Empress Profession as a work-from-home third-party customer service representative for AT&T.

They went to the company’s website, submitted an application and were emailed for an interview. Then, they received an offer letter that revealed the $17.50 hourly pay and health and dental insurance benefits, flexible working hours and promised professional development opportunities. But after three weeks of working, they never received a paycheck, prompting the employees to start to do some digging of their own.

Antanecia Jones said they received pay stubs but have no money to show for them. She also said they learned that the owner’s business license is registered in Kentucky.

“We have pay stubs from the payroll but we don’t have any pay. That doesn’t even make sense. How do we have pay stubs and we don’t have money?” Jones said.

They also said they noticed that all the pay stubs have different addresses listed on them.

“She had us download a lot of different payroll platforms to try to get paid. Every time we questioned her about our pay, she gave us all these excuses on why we hadn’t been paid,” Jones said.

Jones said they were instructed to provide their banking and personal information such as social security and driver’s license numbers on the various sites.

The employees feel like they were scammed.

News4JAX tried calling the number that was provided to employees as a point of contact but no one answered the call. We even went to the business owner’s home, but no one replied to our push for comment.

Now these employees are without a job and feeling the effects.

“It’s caused frustration on me and trying to figure out how am I going to get any of my bills paid due to this inconvenience,” Jones said. “It’s a lot of us who put ourselves in position for this job, thinking it was legit and that we were going to get paid every week like we’re supposed to.”

Darius Lyons said he would be more careful when applying for jobs after his experience with the company.

The employees said they are working on filing a civil lawsuit against the owner.

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