Imposters selling English course are shut down
Many scammers are the same: they lie, harass, and threaten, all to trick people into paying them money. Recently, the FTC filed a lawsuit against several California-based companies and their owners, saying they used exactly these tactics in an imposter scam. Their operation is now shut down.
These companies used telemarketers in Peru who lied: claiming to be with the government, from a centro de ayuda (“help center”), from well-known companies like Walmart, or from radio stations. Their goal? To sell English-language learning products and tablet computers to Spanish-speakers in the United States. The FTC says people didn’t get the high-quality products they were promised, and those who refused to pay, tried to return products, or said no to an offer got threatening calls from people pretending to be lawyers or government officials, threatening them with arrest or lawsuits unless they paid.
To help you avoid scams like this one, here are a few tips:
- Be skeptical about a “free” prize. If you have to pay, it’s not free.
- Don’t give money to someone who tells you over the phone that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay them. Scammers may pressure you with threats of arrest or lawsuits. Resist the pressure and hang up.
- Wiring money is like paying with cash. It’s nearly impossible to trace it or get your money back. The same goes for prepaid cards. If anyone asks you to pay with a wire transfer or prepaid card, that’s a clear sign of a scam.
- Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. And stay up-to-date on the latest scams with free scam alerts: ftc.gov/scams.