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Who’s affected by income scams?

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The FTC and its law enforcement partners announced actions against several income scams that conned people out of hundreds of millions of dollars by falsely telling them they could make a lot of money. One of those scams was 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle, which touted a “proven business model” and told people they could make thousands of dollars in a couple of weeks if they paid to join the program. The FTC says those income claims were false. Customers paid between $2,395 and $22,495 to get started, and many took personal loans or racked up credit card debt to buy in. Approximately 94% of those customers lost money, with losses averaging almost $10,500 per person. That’s equal to two months of take-home pay for someone making the median household income.

FTC economist Devesh Raval matched the addresses of the 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle customers to U.S. Census Bureau data to learn how the scam impacted different communities. He found that the percentage of customers who lost money and live in zip codes that skew older (median age of 55 or above) was 43% greater than their share of the population. In other words, they were over-represented in the 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle customer database.

Raval did a similar study of several cases the FTC has brought against other income scams. The analysis showed that these income scams affected different communities at different rates. Where the average loss to scams was more than $500, more of the people affected tended to live in zip codes that skewed older. Where the average loss to scams was less than $500, more of the people affected tended to live in zip codes with a majority Black population.

Savvy scammers know that many of us want financial freedom or to be our own boss. But as FTC cases show, many of these so-called opportunities are money-losing propositions. That's why it pays to learn how to recognize these scams. If you’re tempted by an opportunity like this, read When a Business Offer or Coaching Program is a Scam. It might save you from losing hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars. Share it in your community to help others recognize these scams. And if you see a scam like this, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Government could stop this if they would investigate all scams. Help the citizens of the United States.

This was one of the worst things to happen to my friend Jean. She was told she could get a free dinner and two round trip tickets to any where in the world. She was told that her estranged daughter could finally visit her and patch things up. However, she signed some papers and she ended up being charged $6,000. The tickets were not free and the two young women just preyed on a lonely widow and took her money. Like the saying goes, if it sound too good to be true, it probably is. Poor Jean is still paying that debt off and her daughter still has not called her.

I want to know if I'm being scammed I'm in contact with Frank Wilson he is a supervisor on a oil rig.He says hes a millionaire an doesn't have access to his money.hes in south Korea in the ocean could u find out if I'm being scammed I'm a widower thank u

Frank works for nocorhe has a son that's in private school he says his wife passed away 2 yrs ago from cancer i have sent him money not alot but its alot to me bn on soc sec please let me know

That sounds like it could be a scam. Many romance scammers create fake profiles on social sites, or contact people through Facebook, or game sites. The scammers tell you personal details about their life and family very quickly, and show lots of affection. They try to gain your trust.

They may call or send text messages several times a day. They are often working far away, or get called to work far away. Then, they make up a story or  have some emergency at work, and ask for money  If you send money, or "lend" them money, you won't get it back. Even if he promises to return the money, you won't get it back. 

This FTC article about romance scams tells more.

I am 84, and I do have a tendency to forget and make mistakes, so when someone calls about a account of mine, I get really nervous which could set me up for a scam. I appreciate these daily messages, they keeps me on the alert for scams. Probably get 3 to 5 per month. Merry Christmas to you all.

I recently got contacted by someone claiming to represent a real company - Gameloft - asking for an interview with me on the messaging app Telegram with a matching username to the sender email after seeing my work on the website Artstation. The email showed the sender's name to be "Aaron Smith" while the telegram account showed the name as "Bill Miller" and the email was from a gmail account that was similar to but did not quite match an email the company would reasonably have. The initial email did not include any further method of contacting them outside of the email and the telegram account and made a lofty promise of a high paying position.

At first I fell for it, I messaged "Miller" and he went through with a surprisingly fast interview with me before almost instantly implying I had gotten the job and convinced me to email some personal information such as my home address and phone number before they sent me a picture of a check urging me to deposit it at my bank as quickly as possible and then subsequently withdraw money as soon as possible to buy supplies for the job. "Bill Miller" continuously hounded me about depositing the check and sending the payment to a vendor without ever sending a business contract to me via email, claiming it would be sent by conventional mail. When my account actually sent the money - with a goods and services tag to ensure I was able to dispute the transfer if needed, "Miller" and the vendor refunded the money and urged me to use Bitcoin of all things to send the money without strings attached. At that point I had enough and told what I believe to be someone impersonating a legitimate company that I had turned down the job and now I am waiting for the check to bounce in my account to show this really was a scam. Even if the check is legitimate, the way this person was trying to urgently get money out of me without a contract or a way for me to reliably get it back was very suspicious.

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