Money-making scheme targets older people and veterans

If you’re just getting by, and someone offers you the chance to earn more money through a business opportunity, you might be willing to listen, right?

Unfortunately, those offers often turn out to be just another scam. Today the FTC announced charges against three people and multiple companies behind a telemarketing scheme that targeted older people and veterans, and took millions of dollars from people with promises they would multiply their investment.

Here’s how it played out: Doing business under names like “Titan Income,” “Wyze Money,” “Prime Cash,” and “Building Money,” telemarketers called people about an “opportunity” to participate or invest in e-commerce websites. The callers said people would earn a hefty income sharing in the revenue from the sites. They even said it was “risk-free” and promised a 100% money-back guarantee.

For a few months, the scammers made it seem like everything was going according to plan as people awaited their first earnings payment at the end of the quarter. During that time, some people who initially paid hundreds of dollars were convinced to pay thousands of dollars more to increase their return. The company even helped people move their now-huge credit card balances to new accounts with temporarily low or zero-interest balance transfers.

But it was all a lie. As soon as it was time for people to get paid, all contact stopped. There were no e-commerce earnings or investments. Anyone trying to get a refund of their investment was out of luck. Many people lost as much as $20,000.

If you’re considering putting money into a business opportunity, do some research first. By law, business opportunity promoters must give you certain information before you hand over any money.

Many of the people Building Money called were on the Do Not Call Registry. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. If you get calls like these, hang up and file a complaint with the FTC.

Comments

Find them - jail them.

This is a scam number 614-715-9153

get them dang hackers

I recently had a break in, they stole my safe with ou SS numbers, car title, house title--all my identity. I contacted bank and credit card. Someone told me to call you. Do I need to do that. Do I need to change my SS number. NO

You can report identity theft and get help at IdentityTheft.gov, a secure government website.
You can enter information about what was stolen, and get a personal recovery plan. You will get pre-printed letters and forms you can send to creditors and other businesses. The website explains what to do right away and what to do next.

I know that people try ripping us off all the time. I'm computer smart, wise to all the scams, even the phone call scams. But I appreciate your alerts you send out via email. I suggest that other vets and elderly do to keep from getting ripped off, but s to ignore and delete all the emails whom they don't know of, and ignore phone calls from peopke who don't know the names of the elderly being called, mother's maiden names. If these people who are on the phones can prove whoop they say they are, then they'll be able to tell who someones mother's mothers apmainden name. Otherwise, just hang up on em. That's what I do. I like screwing with their heads. My right as an American citizen.

Have you heard of a scheme called Wealthonomics? They promised to show us how to do online business, said it wouldn't cost much and ended up taking $13,000 from us. Called FBI and they said they were too busy with people who had lost millions. Sad!

Please contact your local YMCA or City Prosecutor after making an official police report of the theft, also your credit card company. There are consumer protection legal services that may help you recover your money. Those crooks who stole from you should not only pay you back they should pay you more for having stole from you and be criminally liable as well!!!!

This info is great, but you need to make info available earlier (when it can do some good) I called you to notify you of a scam call I recd and there was no mention until many weeks later.......? No use putting out a fire after the house is burned down!

Amen Gary. Their information is great; however, timing is not very good.

cONTACT THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU and yes the advisors and Consumer Education Specialists should give more info such as: what is the 'certain information' the business opportunity promoters must give???? Also, that people can report it to their local police dept as well as the CFPB. I think we need an 'Internet Fraud and Criminal Investigation Bureau' as well. Professionals who know how to track these web criminals down and stop their business.

Click on the highlighted words in these two sentences in the blog, and you'll be directed to FTC articles with lots more information:
If you’re considering putting money into a business opportunity, do some research first. By law, business opportunity promoters must give you certain information before you hand over any money.

YES! The Federal Govt. needs to have an " Internet Fraud and Criminal Investigation" Bureau or agency! For the internet criminals outside the borders of the USA there needs to be ways to bring the guilty to justice also.

Scammers know what they are doing. If you have to sign a contract, even for cell phone insurance, have an attorney review it first. I got scammed on a cell phone policy that resulted in hours of resolution. Finally I complained to my credit card companies through BBB and THEN, yes, something was done. But somehow they set up their transaction processing to look like you signed a subscription. Use your debit card, if in doubt; that particular scam won't work with a debit card. But the Illinois Insurance Commissioner I sent my contract to, said it was neither valid, nor was the company legally operational, in Illinois. That's the Internet for you. And I did research; but the review site that was positive was paid to ensure bad reviews were resolved.

Thank you so much for this information. It is exactly what happened to a senior person in the household. I don't know how much was spent, but I was able to intervene when the scammers were "helping" the person involved get a new credit credit. They had control of his computer to fill out the form until I pulled the plug!

Your powerful alerts have saved me endless heartache and sleepless nights. The scammers and defrauding teams work across multiple electronic spectrums with little enforcement or recourse for the victims. Even during Hurricane Matthews the perpetrators continued there defrauding activities. Appreciate your continued vigilance!

A consumer law needs to be adopted nationally where a vendor cannot take one's credit or debit card out of the presence of the card holder when a transaction payment is being made. For instance, many restaurants will take your credit card out from your presence and you don't know for sure what is being done with your card. Gives the opportunity for any dishonest restaurant employee to commit fraud by writing down pertinent card information or even photo the card. Your card should be visible at all times in a transaction.

I could be in huge trouble?! I have Cashed 4 checks at my bank, bought things and sent the remainder to someone. I did not deposit the check but I did have to go to my bank to cash the "cashier's Checks". I started this a week adjoined became suspicious as the amounts got larger and larger. I am afraid the checks are fake. Am I liable for the funds even though they didn't go in my account? HELP!!! ANSWER PLEASE!!!!

If you deposit a check and withdraw money based on the check, and then the bank finds out the check was fraudulent, you owe the bank the amount you withdrew. Contact your bank and tell them you think the checks you cashed were fake and show them any documents or messages you have from the scammer. These FTC articles tell more about fake checks, and mystery shopper job scams.
Please report this to law enforcement. You can report to law enforcement at FTC.gov/complaint. Include details about who contacted you, what they asked you to do, and about the checks. If you report by email, you will get an email back that confirms you filed.
If you sent money by MoneyGram or Western Union, report the fraud to the companies. Call Western Union's Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 and MoneyGram at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

I trusted a company called Marketforceinfo. deposited the check thinking it was a certified check. I with drew $2400. to send as money grams to where they told me. I thought it was okay because the bank said the money was available. 5 days later the check came back as forged. I was told by bank that because it is under$5,000. They didn't have to verify the check.

Please report this to law enforcement at FTC.gov/complaint.The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement nationwide uses for investigations.
You can also report this to MoneyGram at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

NOW WHAT? I just called the bank the check was drawn on and they confirmed it was forgery. I have already cashed 3 of their checks before this. i do not have the money to cover the checks. WHAT DO I DO?

I was almost caught in this same scam while I was selling a table saw. I called the bank in CA and also the company it was drawn against both told me it s a forged check. Thankfully I didn't cash it.

sorry people but there is nobody out there who will help you. not the cfpb, the ftc, or any other government agency. they say to report it, and if they get enough reports on a certain scammer, they will investigate. how many people have to report??? millions. i was scammed out of almost 13,000. and i caught it before it posted to my credit card, called the bank, explained the whole sory and the posted it anyway. i disputed it 6 times, wrote the cfpb, ftc, and countless other gov. agencys and nothing. i simply told my bank i would never pay it, EVER so don't bother calling me. they didn't ever call but i will wait the 7 years for it to fall off my credit report and resume a perfect credit history again.

This FTC article explains how to dispute errors on your credit reports.

Careful Warning: As a scam stating their name ( most probable Aliases contacting via phone even leaving info. to call their number back immediately about impending legal litigation being filed against yourself. Upon stating your name and even partial S.S.N. the rep/agent never identifies whom they work for( company or processor) , and they rifle you with accusations and erroneous information like street names,addresses , cities or states resided in.The rep.further states an entity that you possibly worked for that you never worked for or at yet attempting to get you to say your current employer and past employers. Trying to gather more info. and correct info. by ( phishing matching). Possibly to do future fraudulent activities and or purchases with your info. It has been done from 855 prefix numbers but that is easy to change. Be Alert!

WE had someone call my mothers sell phone and tell her she had a problem with her credit card and that they needed the info to fix it the number is512-535-3091 my husband got on the phone the guy said she called he looked and she did
not call them

These are scam numbers - 855 217-5618 and 855 217-4698.

Those of us in Florida know if a caller ID shows area code 305, 321, 407, 904 it's almost always a scam telemarketer. Lately I have been getting Robo callers from 646-663-7621, 866-438-0242 and 866-978-8070, claiming to be Microsoft Windows Support telling me that my Windows key has expired and I needed to contact Microsoft at the numbers above to renew my license.

My mother was contacted by someone who claimed to be with the FTC. My mother never filed a claim for the scamming so there is no way that your agency would even know if she was scammed. No matter what I tell her she believes this man is helping her to get money back from several times she was scammed. This man does not provide her with a phone number or government email address. He is telling her to send money places and then he will track it and get her the money back. He has her believing this is an undercover operation that could be dangerous and she is helping her country to identify the scammers. I truly do not know what to do or how to help her see this is a HUGE SCAM.

Thank you for letting us know about this. You're right; the person who is calling your mother is NOT from the FTC.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to know about this scammer, and help people avoid him and others like him.
Please remind your mother that a real government employee will have an email that ends in .gov. A real government employee should be willing to tell her his name, agency and his supervisors name.
If you want to send another comment with your contact information, I won't publish the comment, but I will contact you if you'd like.

!BEWARE! Company called Data Link 800-731-4808. Their real website is www. bfmgroupllc. com. This is a work at home business opportunity SCAM. Don't give them the time of day.

Beware of people who advertise in the newspaper about selling animals like Yorkies, teacup Yorkshire and other pets. I was scammed out of a $1,000.00. The money was a gift after my dog passed to help me get another dog. Their documents looked real and they even said they would transport the dog thru United Airlines Safe Pet. When I found out that this was a scam when I called United to tell them someone was using their name to scam people and the lady was very rude and all she cared about was in was looking for money. I even f found out that anyone that says it's the gods honest truth or I swear I'm gods name I would not steal your money and other statements are scammers. I hope this helps someone. I was so embarrassed that I was stupid enough to believe all they said!!!_

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