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Company Dupes New Hires Into Selling Perfume On Streets

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Online, they advertise management positions offering good pay. But people who’ve been hired told WCCO that’s not what they’re getting.

Anna lives in the Twin Cities. She didn’t want us to use her last name. She says she’s still afraid after where her job search went months ago.

“I just couldn’t believe what they were doing,” Anna said.

Like a lot of job seekers, Anna went to Craigslist to look for work. With her background in management and administration, one position sounded perfect.

“I got a phone call right away from a company and they wanted me to go in right away for an interview,” she said.

The building in St. Louis Park isn’t much to look at from the outside. After two rounds of interviews, Anna got a job, along with dozens of others.

“He said that we’d be office managers and that each of us would have our own office site,” she said.

When she showed up for her first day, plans for her own office would disappear.

“I knew I was done the minute I got into that van,” she said.

In order to work her way up, Anna says she was told first, she’d have to sell perfume in parking lots all across the metro, for months.

The company goes by National Creative Scents Twin Cities or NCSTC. Consumer websites connect the business with offices operating under different names all across the country, all with practices that seem to the same: The promise of management jobs if you can hack it selling enough perfume.

WCCO watched on two different days as workers loaded up and hit the road. They stopped at gas stations, strip malls and fast food restaurants. They had no problem selling to us when we were undercover.

“This is $20,” one worker told us.

“I’ve got all top designers for 80 percent off,” another said.

Yet in all of their stops, we never saw them sell one single bottle.

No one from the company returned our repeated phone calls. And when we stopped by to ask them about their practices, the doors were locked.

A business next door told us they moved.

As Commissioner of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, Katie Clark Sieben wants anyone looking for work to start on the state’s website, www.minnesotaworks.net, where 55,000 valid and vetted jobs are posted.

“In the case of someone who is unemployed and searching for work we need to make sure they can quickly find those job opportunities and get back to work,” Clark Sieben said.

Anna learned her lesson. Her first day was her last and she eventually found a job that delivered what the posting promised.

She wants her story to save others the trouble.

“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else,” Anna said.

WCCO reached out to the police departments where we saw these people selling perfume. They each told us what this company is doing is illegal because they’re not licensed. The Minnesota Attorney General’s office wants to hear from anyone who has had anything to do with NCSTC.

Click here to submit a complaint.

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