Beware of Business Coaching Scams

Have you seen websites or ads, or gotten telephone calls that say a home-based internet business could be your ticket to making easy cash? Some claim a business coaching program will help you get going. Before you respond to an offer for business coaching services, keep your money in your wallet and your eye on a recent case brought by the FTC.

The FTC has announced a settlement with Ivy Capital and related companies alleging that the companies sold bogus business coaching services to people by phone after the consumers responded to online ads or e-mails for work-at-home opportunities. Using high-pressure sales tactics, Ivy Capital promised big online earning potential, access to expert business developers, and insider tools and tactics to help consumers successfully launch Internet businesses. People who bought these services had virtually no success. Many were coaxed into spending thousands of dollars upfront for services and guidance that were readily available for free and that could not realistically help them make substantial money online.

What should you know before starting a home-based internet business?

  • Don’t pay for free information. You can get free business development advice and counseling by experts in the field through government agencies like the Small Business Administration and community colleges with small business centers.
  • Do your own research. Are you familiar with the company and its products or services? Is the company affiliated with a legitimate certification or business accreditation program? Does the company have a good reputation? A good way to find out is to type the company name in a search engine with terms like “scam” or “complaint.”
  • Beware of the “upsell.” If you find yourself paying for a product or service you have yet to receive, and then get additional calls pressuring you to plunk down even more money for another level of product or service, that’s a red flag. It’s better to cut your losses now. If you think it’s a scam, file a complaint with the FTC.

Want to know more? Check out BusinessUSA for help with starting your own home-based internet business, and hear our new one-minute audio tip.

Work at Home Scams

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

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how many scam complaints does it take for a company to be investigated?

There is a huge distinction between a professional business coaching and a business coaching system for an online offer. It would be great if you would draw the distinction between the two, and take some of the ill repute pressure off of the highly viable profession of business coaching. Not all coaches are members of an affiliate marketing scam. I don't think the article reflects that very well.

the information i sent to you did not name any names but i can prove my case and send you the details to which will show exactly what happened. if you could help direct me or guide me to a dept that i have not already contacted then i would be greatful. i am not claiming all coachs are members of an affiliate scam but i know of one that is and that scammed me along with thousands of others.

Hi, Tillie,

If you want to file a complaint, please visit ftc.gov/complaint. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country use our complaint database to recognize abusive patterns and bring cases against companies that break the law. There's no specific number of complaints needed to begin a new investigation.

To be a coach is a serious profession.

To grow, develop and thrive in your career, to vastly expand your skills, abilities, satisfaction, results and compensation.

When you talk to one of business coaches, you will better grasp what it is you want to do, and determine how to get there.

Before buying coaching services from anywhere, manual checks must be made in order to ensure how legitimate the service provider is, their certification, their references, their experience and case studies.

you don't have a chance to check anything if your being scammed until after the fact. i realized i had been scammed and caught it before it posted to my credit card, told the bank what had just happened and to decline the charge but they did not. they didn't even delay posting the charge and denied my dispute. we're talking thousands of dollars that was not even red flagged by the bank as unusual spending. i made a mistake, caught it in time to explain to the bank with clear details of what happened leaving no doubt it was a scam. there are lots of information about preventing being scammed, yet no supporting information or agency advising your rights after the fact. is that because we have no rights and are expected to pay back the money? if people had the time to check out a service provider, there would be no scams. it's easy to say "check them out first" if you have not experienced being scammed. we are not stupid people. scam artist throw you off guard totally with high pressure tactics and they are fast, they don't want you checking them out first. they are cons and good at what they do as millions have been hit by a scam. if we had some rights or options or laws on our side that would help us regain our loss that information would be much more helpful than what we should have done. i have yet to find a government agency that has done anything for me and i have filed many complaints with many agency's. it's actually a joke filing a complaint seeking any support as all that is done is the agency sends your complaint to the company giving them a chance to respond then they close the case. one agency gave the merchant 10 days to respond before they change their rating to a "risk" status. more than 30 days past and all the agency did was resend the request to respond then did nothing. it's no wonder scamming people is on the rise when the chance of getting caught are very low. the consumer is held responsible to pay back the money. there's no way i will pay money the bank choose to hand over to a scammer to which i got nothing from. a perfect credit rating is now gone due to it being reported to the bureau's. if this country can bail out big corporations, where's the help for the consumer of a scam? there is none and scam is on the rise. why aren't there any laws that actually help the consumer retrieve even a portion of their loss?

I too have been scammed out of thousands of dollars that was being saved so my husband could retire plus I'm on disability. I actually had a "high pressure" guy that got me involved in this scam. I have filed a complaint with the FTC. There is a website called "Rip Off Report" and I was really surprised how many people were scammed from the same company and yet these people are still working. Doubt if we'll get any money back, although it'd be nice. We had 3 days to cancel and get our money back from each leg of the company, but it was either 4 or 5 days before the next step took place, which cost more money. I've had the one group actually get in and charged an amount that I had confirmed would not come off the card until my business was up and running...I called them because the certain amount was on a contract and I wanted to be sure that there wasn't any misunderstanding. I was really STUPID because I fell for it. I don't know what company(ies) y'all were dealing with but mine and it's affiliates were under various names (ecommerce group, rockyecommerce, learning center, coaching dept., My Shipper Source, and a few others. If anyone has any suggests how to get a law suit recoup even some of our money I'd be interested to hear what you have to say. I not only have contacted FTC, but, Atty General (AG's Office) for the State of WA; Atty General for the Sate of ID, and the BBB. It's hard to look for the AG to be able to help because I live in WA and they don't have jurisdiction and the ID AG can't do anything but look into it because I live out of their state. I do wish that I would have known about these different website before I got taken to the cleaners, but Bailey you said it best when you said it's hard to find out when you've got someone using "high pressure" tactics and is GOOD at it.

you can type in the name of the company + scam and get a list of complaints, or go to complaints.com, scam book, there are many but they do nothing to help you and the scam continues on. it is pretty simple how the company i got caught up with continues to stay in business. they don't record the phone conversation where they are telling you deceptive and deceiving lies which are against the law. they only record the conversation where you give them your credit card information so if disputed it is recorded you freely gave that info but no recording on how they coned you, badgered and lied to you in order to get you to sign a contract, they don't show you that contract until way after 3 days which the credit card company's (some) honor that 3 day portion of the contract even when i told them how the merchant breached the contract before i ever signed it among many other things that are against the law. i just don't understand how it is legal for a company to keep thousands of dollars to which you get nothing for and or were set up to fail. the amt. of money they take is impossible to make back yet they tell you, you can make $5,000. a month or whatever impossible amt. you were told. some people go through the program and really try but they way they set you up, you can never succeed. other people realize right from the start (after they charge your card) it's a scam and don't use the program such as i did and yet they are allowed to keep my money?????? i think the best way to get attention is to start a lobbying campaign to legislators. to do that, need to find others who have been through the same thing and get a letter writing campaign started. if this happened to a senator's family member something might get done. the company i was associated with is focus lc, catalyst coaching and crystal consulting and affiliates of various names. they are all linked together. i have filed complaints with many many federal agency's along with writing about my experience on complaint sites next to the many many other on the same company. there are many places you can go to but to actually get any help...not the only way to seek help is if you do it yourself with as many as are willing to write their experience and lets send it in bulk to legislators. to be noticed, by pass all the middle men and go straight to the big boys with a massive amt of info your scam. a few people won't make a difference but i intend to write a letter and send it every week in hopes of someone taking notice even if i have to do it alone as i refuse to not be heard. not only was i scammed, my credit card company failed me in every dept from customer service to vice president of dispute dept to the customer advocate team and their protection policy dept. i disputed the same charge 6 times and they denied my claim 6 times. no help there. it's been close to a year since i was scammed and i am not by any means giving up.

Ok, I fell, now what. $23,000 in with no job. I quit to do this. What can I do?

I was scammed by a "business coaching", contacted the FTC by phone and asked why I am held responsible to pay the 12,000. they charged my card and they said because I signed a contract... What kind of answer is that? It was a scam, a proven scam with hundreds of complaints by other people about the same company and signing a contract makes me responsible to pay back the money they scammed? How can a contract be considered a legal document by a scammer? I don't think I have ever heard of such a stupid stamtement and that was all the help the FTC offered me. How can anyone accept that a scam is against the law but the contract is legal? I had to hang up on that answer as I realized I was not the stupid one here and Im certainly not paying to be scammed which is what the FTC basically told me I had to. Wrong answer and thanks for the help FTC.

FTC, IRS both a big joke

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