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Calling foul on scammy business coaches

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Starting a small business is a big deal. That’s why people might consider getting a business coach to help. But what if the coach doesn’t help, but actually hurts your interests? Unfortunately, that’s what happened to thousands of people who wanted to start home-based internet businesses.

The FTC reached a settlement with a group of companies and individuals that allegedly used deceptive marketing tactics that robbed aspiring business owners of millions of dollars. According to the FTC, the defendants promised business coaching services that would help people earn lots of money. People paid thousands of dollars for the so-called services to start their internet business, but only got bombarded with more sales calls to buy still more services.

And the services? Not so much. In return for their thousands, people were left with no actual business help, no functioning business, little or no earnings, and lots of debt.

Here’s how you can avoid these kinds of cheats:

  • Don’t pay for free information. You may be able to get truly free business development advice and counseling through agencies like the Small Business Administration.
  • Check it out. Are you familiar with the company offering help? Is it affiliated with a legitimate certification or business accreditation program? Search the company’s name online with the term “scam” or “complaint” – then do the same for the accreditation program.
  • Don’t give them (more) money. Is someone asking you to pay for a product or service you have yet to receive? Are you getting additional calls, pressuring you for even more money for additional stuff? Stop right there and file a complaint with the FTC.

Visit the FTC’s new small business webpage to learn more about how to avoid these and other scams targeting entrepreneurs.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money




I have been a victim of a work at home scam to the tune of $20000.00
Now I don't have enough money to live on. I don't know what to do. I'm 74 years old and too old to go back to work and I am raising my granddaughter that is 12 years old. I have no family to help me.

If you think you've been victimized, report it to:

I like this. Thanks

You are doing a great job, Thank you

Good to know you are there. A valuable government asset for the small business person.

The only way to start a small business is with passion, hard work and ALONE! You only add personnel when you are so overloaded that you cannot do all the work yourself and the business is generating the income required for that help. Advise from others can be helpful but make all your decisions ALONE! It's your business. Good Luck

I recently entered into a affilliate program called EZMT and i would like to know if it is reputable.

Type the business name and address into the Better Business Bureau website. Even if they are not BBB accredited, they can still let you know if the business is legitimate. Another option is to Google the business along with the word "review" or "complaint."

no it is not

Thanks for the information.

I was scammed out of $1,000. by a "Search Your History" one-man operation. Reported it to all the agencies including the BBB in the state(s) in which they operated and a big fat NOTHING.

I had copies of everything paid and even contacted the Post Office authorities in my efforts to get the trickster stopped. Again? NOTHING.

Unless you're a multi millionaire who's been conned for hundreds of thousands of dollars the authorities consider it small fry. Best bet is "If it sounds too good to be true it is."

You can also report this to law enforcement by filing a complaint with the FTC at When you file with the FTC, the information goes into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

You can also report to the state Attorney General in your state, or the state where the business is based.

Dr. Florence, I too filled a claim with every agency possible, including the FTC and nothing happened. I disputed the charges with my credit card 6 times and was denied each time. I had all information showing this was a scam with out a doubt I realized it was a scam, called my credit card co. told them everything that had happened, the charge had not posted yet, was pending so I asked them to please decline the charge and they told me it would have to post then I could dispute afterwards. I spent a year trying to do something about this and finally had to let it go because it was consuming to much of my energy. My loss was a little over $9,000. I told the credit card co. I will never pay it so don't even bother calling me. I will wait the 7 years for it to fall off my report.

I got a call today saying it was IRS and I was going to arrested!!I need to call this #1803 572-4808 I called they are not even able to speak English!!
please look in to this before someone gets scammed!!thank you so much!

Finlly something is getting done! My credit card company, "Discover" refused to do a chargeback, said it was a legit service for online buisness coaching I purchased. Now my A plus credit is not so good anymore.
Thank you for your help.

I had the same thing happen to me as your article 6-26-17 only in August 2016. I couldn't remember enough of training with only :30 min a week with a real coach, and webinarsthat talked too fast to take notes. Also 2 other men told me to make ANY money I needed to invest more, I really got scammed. Then got Consumer Shield to deal with Credit cards, now find they are out of business, with more money lost. HELP

These house flipping coaching services are scams. The line "You don't have to use any of your own money" is SUCH a LIE!!! The money lenders they wanted me to contact were mostly scam artist!!! I am thousands of dollars in debt for their faulty coaching!! It makes me so angry to still hear the commercials.

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