Operation Empty PromisesMarch 3rd, 2011 at 5:34 pm by Susan Hogan under Consumer, General Talk
“Be your own boss!” “Make $4000 in one week”
You’ve heard the promises, but unfortunately, according to the FTC many are empty promises that leave consumers in worse financial shape. The FTC has now stepped up its enforcement against scammers who falsely promise guaranteed jobs to consumers who are struggling with unemployment or looking to increase their household income.
“Operation Empty Promises “
This multi-agency law enforcement initiative announced more than 90 enforcement actions, including 48 criminal actions. During a press conference at the FTC in Washington, DC, the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “The victims of these frauds are our neighbors-people who are trying to make an honest living. Under pressure to make ends meet, they risked their limited financial resources in response to the promise of a job, an income-a chance at a profitable home-based business. But these turned out to be empty promises-and the people who counted on them ended up with high levels of frustration and even higher levels of debt.”
Ivy Capital Inc.
The FTC took action against several companies including, Ivy Capital Inc. and 29 co-defendants. According to the FTC, the company ”allegedly took more than $40 million dollars from victims who paid thousands of dollars believing Ivy Capital would help them develop their own internet businesses and earn up to $10,000 per month.”
How they Allegedly Did it
According to the FTC’s complaint, Ivy Capital’s telemarketers asked consumers how much credit they had on their credit cards and then talked them into using a substantial portion of their available credit to purchase a business coaching program. But, according to the FTC, the promised products and services were worthless.
National Sales Group
According to the FTC, National Sales Group, and I life Marketing LLC, allegedly made false claims to consumers about employment opportunities. According to the complaint, the company advertised nonexistent sales jobs with good pay and benefits on CareerBuilder.com and other online job boards, and their telemarketers falsely told consumers the company recruited for Fortune 1000 employers and had a unique ability to get them interviewed and hired.
The FTC alleged that the defendants charged fees they said covered background checks and other services, and often overcharged, taking $97 from consumers who had agreed to pay $29 or $38. They also charged some consumers recurrnig fees of $13.71 or more per month without their consent. According to other documents filed in court, the operation has generated more than 17,000 complaints to law enforcement agencies and defrauded consumers of at least $8 million.
Business Recovery Services LLC
The FTC says Business Recovery Services LLC allegedly telemarketed products and services they falsely claimed would help consumers recover money they had lost to business opportunity and work-at-home operations, selling hundreds of variations of do-it-yourself kits tailored to particular schemes and priced up to $499.
The FTC alleged they violated the telemarketing sales rule by misrepresenting the nature and effectiveness of their services, and accepting advance payments from consumers for recovering money lost in previous telemarketing transactions without waiting 7 business days for the consumers to receiv the recovered money, as required by the rule. According to documents filed in court, consumers lost an estimated total of $1.5 million in this scheme.