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Would you be tempted by an online business training program that promises you could earn thousands of dollars a month working from home? I wouldn’t blame you if you were. But don’t believe the hype. Promises like these are signs of an online business scam.

The FTC recently took steps to stop MOBE, a company that was promoting a bogus online business opportunity to retirees and veterans, among others. The company claimed that you could start your own business working from home and make a LOT of money by following its 21-step system. How much is a lot? One of their websites said you could “make $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or more every single month.”business opportunity clipping

Despite the promises, most people who paid for the online business program made little or no money. But you know who did make a lot of money? The people running the bogus business opportunity. The FTC alleges they collected more than $125 million from the customers they ripped off.

Recognize the Signs of an Online Business Scam

Marketers of these fake business opportunities often make similar claims that are a sign of a scam. They:

  • Guarantee that you can make a lot of money.
  • Promise that you can make money quickly and easily.
  • Use high pressure sales tactics, like saying you’ll miss out if you don’t buy in now.

Report Scams

If you come across someone selling a business opportunity that you think could be a scam, report it to the FTC. Why bother? Because your report matters.

Learn More about Starting a Business

Learn more about your rights if you’re thinking about buying a business or business opportunity. You can also visit the Small Business Administration site for tips on starting a business.

 

Note: This blog was edited on June 25, 2018 by adding the word MOBE.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Emails coming out of Nigeria requesting money for winning a lottery or helping a dying relative are common ones too.

I am one such who got caught with this when i even didnot have the job. some how i took credit and loan for this. Can i get any help to get back my money from this. I have done and started it in Novemebr 2017.

Please tell the FTC about this at FTC.gov/Complaint. You can give your contact information if you choose and tell how much paid and other details.

Does reporting your story to thE FTC get your money back from MOBE? If not, how does one go about getting the money back. Since the assets are frozen including MOBE affiliates' income, will the government disperse them fairly amongst people who didn't make a big enough profit to cover their costs? MOBE owns 2 islands that could be sold to get people's money back.

So many bad people out there. So little time. Good information for consumers and hope-to-be self employed individuals. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Yep, got that right - sounds too good to be true is almost always too good to be true!

Way to go FTC!!!

these scams have been around forever....the FTC should institute a screening procedure for every single person or company that panders such programs and prevent them from even doing business in the first place, instead of waiting till millions of people get ripped off. Penalties need to be much more severe than they are now. These thieves just close their doors and re-open them using different names. And the media companies who benefit from placing their bogus ads, should also be penalized. They know damn well, these are scams.

Yes!! Rockin Ron.. You are so right. They should be heavily prosecuted before they collects millions from retirees. So whats next?

Exactly. Also, once they are located, along with their principals, it should be easy to win a law suit against them since they really do "guarantee" the money you could make.
I wish there was someone out there who could create class-action suits for when miscreants and criminals become known. You know they have a lot of money made from their scams.

You are right.

Just remember folks, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It should not cost you money to win a prize, I get constant calls saying I've won 7 or more million dollars and a new hi end car. I just have to pay 500, or whatever for some kind of taxes, they change depending on how much I question it. Remember we can't win money from out of the country. Then there's the ones who say they got word I have pain, I tell 'em they're the only pain I have. If they have to have an answer right away or you lose your prize/chance, no double a scam. A relative calls says they lost their money wire them money, NO If you didn't know your family member went to Italy forget it. Be Sharp, or be taken.

If they require payment to collect your "prize" money I tell them to deduct it from my winnings and then when they try with some reply I hang up. I know right off it is a scam because you can't win something you have not entered.

I have lost my Ira of 24,000 and the equity out of my house I had to sell because of on line home business scams. T
I am 74 and thought I was smarter than to be scammed but when I complain to the bank or credit card companies they do nothing to help me recover my money. It is true that I signed a contract but I received nothing but directions to utube training sites although they all said I would have total Han holding through the entire process 24/7. As soon as I signed the contract and sent them the money their customer support was useless. The only time I got anything was when they wanted more money. Including interest on credit cards I have lost pat least 150,000 dollars. PayPal is one of the most difficult companies I have ever worked with.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also report to the Attorney General in your state. This page lists the Attorneys General for every state.

Use the federal eldercare locator (eldercare.acl.gov) to find agencies in your community that help older adults with housing, legal assistance, financial help and other needs, or call them at 1-800-677-1116.

Be sure to report this to your attorney general. I hope you can recover some money. I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles and I hope justice is served. I wish you the best.

In using a bank card for purchasing and they for some what did not keep their promise or tried for a refund within the time frame just to get ignored and frustrated. That the bank card company rule in any purchases that uses for any means are responsible for their actions basically is what they are saying. But when using a credit card they have more power in recovering your money that the card company holds a higher services rate to their clients in satisfactory as a card holder. When I got frauded on two trading site one was for $3,000 and the other was for $5,000 in submitted my complaint on the two trading site they do know the law and more power than using a bank card in recovery a loss so because the merchant did not keep their promise and had guarantee by virble did matter towards this case even a sign agreement did not hold in getting back. Now in doing any business I rather pay with a credit card than a bank card I'll use it more at a ATM machine and now with the damn intereste had gone up that what strain does that takes for these company find a loophole to jack up the cost.

I agree with rockin' ron that any media company that shows these work at home ads should also be penalized to the same degree or higher than the scammers themselves. Good job, FTC.

There would be no possible way the FTC could monitor ALL such work scams because as rockin' ron says, they just open and close boiler room shops all the time. But, there should be a way that companies (print media, radio, TV, internet) who allow these bogus ad to be distributed could be fined. Legitimate stations broadcast such ads all the time. The main thing that baffles me is why people keep getting scammed. Are they living under a rock that they never read, hear, see the warnings. Just got one today from my electric company. Not a work scam but a threat to turn off power if people don't send them money. I know lots of old people get frightened and aren't aware of these scams so the best thing we can do as a country is make sure people are not left under that rock.

I agree with SandyO that the FTC is doing a good job, and I also agree that it would be impossible to monitor all scams. The point we seem to be missing is that the power to stop the scams is ours. If everyone would just delete unsolicited emails, stop reading online ads making big promises of quick wealth, and hang up the phone these criminals would be out of business very quickly. They rely on our greed to make us vulnerable to their hype. No one is forcing us to send money. In essence, we are funding these people willingly, and then complaining about it. Let's shut them down by shutting them off. Pick up a good book and spend your time reading that instead.

I got burnt really bad. In the hole for $100,000

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

I know the feeling. I'm out 50 grand buried in credit card debt. I hope there is a way the FTC can make them pay us back somehow

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. YOu can include your name and contact information if you choose, and details about the money you lost. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

DITTO TO ALL!

What would happen to Russell Whitney, Steven Brandsfield, Michael Gabrielli, Jorge Mateo, Rossana Tello and all of those people from werunads. com – who fabricated stories?

They moved to selling something else now as if nothing happened. And they refuse to refund the MOBE "mentorship" money that people pay them to "accelerate" their success with MOBE. Even though MOBE has gone down now. They have refused that even for people who paid that money just before MOBE has been shut down by the FTC. These people are still aperating freely and scamming the h out of inoccent trusting vulnerable people.

I was convinced I could make fast, easy money and lost 16-thousand dollars buying into an operation that promised to teach me and provide personal supervisors so I would not fail. My state attorney general's office took all my info and then sent a letter saying they didn't handle this kind of thing. To me this money grew to a 30-K scam while I worked hard to own my mistake. I hope I can one day recoup the loss...I am on SS only and am now squeezed very hard to keep from being sued, maybe more.

I just bought into this company last week and got nothing. How can i get my money back

Please tell the FTC about this at FTC.gov/Complaint. You can give your contact information if you choose and tell how much paid and other details.

chances r u won't ever get ur $ back from the scammer. perhaps u will get a small refund from the FTC once they catch the scam co.

There is ascammer that continues to call me on my home phone even after I foolishly gave them money. Now that I know who it is each time they call and trust me,they do just keep right on blatantly trying. Please,how do I STOP THIS from continuing?

This page has information about how to stop unwanted calls.

I had a call a while back that I won $250,000.00, just sent us a check for taxes, costs etc. for $145.00. I told them to just send me a check for $249,85.00. They hung up!

What will happen to Russell Whitney, Steven Brandsfield, Michael Gabrielli, Jorge Mateo, Rossana Tello and all of those people from werunads.com – who fabricated stories to entice people to join their fraudulent $25k mentorship program?

What are the Authorities doing concerning all these Scams?

All the things a person needs to do to make money online -- write and publish blog posts or create and post vlogs, sign up for affiliate marketing opportunities, share content on social media -- are FREE. You can buy web hosting, domain names, ads and such if you like, but they're not 100% necessary if you're willing to put the sweat in that it takes to build a following. Legit online courses showing people how to do the above usually cost a few bucks, not hundreds of thousands.

Don't fall for the scare tactic of "sign up now before it's too late". If they're legitimate they'll be around for a long time.

I love you FTC! It's so good to know that you have the consumers back. While I am trying to find a job I am running into all kinds of these scammers. I decided to fight back.Within the past few weeks I was contacted by a work from home scammer. Little did they know that a company a few years ago tried it and almost succeeded. My mom had just passed away, I had been talking care of her for the past several years. Her doctor diagnosed her with dementia and gave her 2 months to live but God granted her 6 years instead. During her death I was seeking employment and desperate to start a new chapter in my life. It's a long story but the outcome was that they did not win. If a company sends you a check always call the bank. The bank will know if it's a scam or not. We as citizens trying to do what is right need to try and get these scammers off the street.
FTC if we all stick together we can do it.

I believe there should be more media advertising that these are scams. The more people read about these scams, the less they will be suckered into falling for them.

It's a shame these scams are out there but when legit companies signs you up for something just because you clicked the learn more button is really bad.

Hello I did purchase the Mobe program, what should I do? Please your advice in next steps

Please tell the FTC about this at FTC.gov/Complaint. You could tell your name and contact information, how much you paid, and other details about your experience.

Dear FTC, I am writing this from Ireland, I joined Mobe in May 2018 and bought silver package at USD$2,490 plus A year membership at USD$402.55 , total I paid USD$2892.55 to Mobe in May 2018 this year, I only learned now that MOBE has problems and being hold by FTC, I wish to have my payment of $2892.55 refunded As soon as possible! Please help me!! My email is info@

Please report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. That is a secure website that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can give your name and contact information, how much you paid, and other details about your experience.

What happens to people outside of USA who purchased the MOBE program

Please report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. That is a secure website that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can give your name and contact information, how much you paid, and other details about your experience.

I am from India And I had invested around 2500$ plus amount with this system of 21 steps.i was tempted when i had lost the Job and I didnot have any other means.So I took a credit/loan from my local bank to pay to this system to start Business. As i am completely new to the business. i had to loose my enitre money that too which i took as a loan for an interest rate. I kept on putting more and more money but never got back one penny dollar also. can i get any help to get back my money. Please guide me. thanks.

Please report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. That is a secure website that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can give your name and contact information, how much you paid, and other details about your experience.

How do I proceed. I feel MOBE owes me over $40,000.I have been totally scammed. I still owe $33,000 on my home equity line because of their false claims.

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