While there are tons of free advice through non-profit organizations and government agencies, not to mention doing leg work on the internet, watch out if a company wants a fee to help you with your business or offers you a business opportunity that is too good to be true.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently got a $15 million settlement against such a firm.
Here is the scoop:
A company called The Tax Club dialed consumers and falsely claimed to be affiliated with companies that consumers had already bought services or products from. The company telemarketers pitched business development services such as business coaching services, corporate formation services, and credit development services, falsely claiming the services were essential to the success of consumers’ businesses. After an initial sale, they called consumers numerous times to sell more “essential” services, typically for several thousand dollars per service, with a large initial fee and recurring smaller monthly “membership” payments. Many of the services offered were neither essential nor provided as promised, according to the FTC.
The FTC also successfully completely shutdown another “Be Your Own Boss” scam.
Here is the scoop:
The operators of American Business Builders sold a home-based business opportunity where consumers could earn income offering payment processing services, credit card terminals, and merchant cash advances to small businesses. They falsely claimed that, for a fee ranging from $295 to $495, consumers could make substantial income in several ways, including earning commissions on terminals sold or leased to merchants in consumers’ communities. They also sold sales leads and promised to conduct telemarketing campaigns that would generate customers and income. The defendants charged $10 per lead, with some consumers paying up to $40,000, but they failed to provide the promised customer leads for the consumers, and the consumers did not earn any income.
BEST ADVICE: Before you put money into a work-at-home business opportunity, ask questions to determine if it is legitimate.
Also, stay on top of the latest scams with CardTrak’s #SCAMTRAK.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).