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In the business world, “leads” refer to the contact information of potential customers. In the scam world, it means the same thing. While scammers find their targets in all kinds of ways, one method is to go to people who have already been victims of a related scheme.

For example, let’s say a company gets you to pay for a work-at-home program, promising that you’ll make a lot of money by starting a new online business. That company may then sell your contact information to a second company. Company #2 then might offer to sell you, say, coaching services that they promise will make your new business a success. In fact, they may just make your wallet even lighter – by thousands of dollars.

The FTC has sued lots of scammers who have sold these kinds of bogus programs and services. In the latest example, earlier this week the FTC announced a lawsuit against Vision Solution Marketing, and others. According to the FTC, these companies fooled people into thinking they would get useful business information to help them make thousands a month working from home. The FTC says these defendants – who took in millions of dollars bought leads, as described above, from a company that had sold a work-at-home program. (In fact, the FTC settled a case earlier this year against another company, Internet Teaching and Training Specialists, LLC (ITT), the sellers of one of those programs.) In this case, according to the FTC, people on that work-at-home lead list were offered the chance to pay up to $13,995 for a coaching program that would supposedly give them one-on-one guidance about building their new business. But what they got instead was usually just information freely available online. Most people ended up with no functional online business, earned little or no money, and wound up heavily in debt.

The FTC’s lawsuit stops this scheme in its tracks, but the best way to protect yourself from illegal schemes is to learn about how to spot them. You can start by checking out the FTC’s information on work-at-home related scams. And whenever you think you've spotted one, tell the FTC.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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May 19, 2018
What's up with clickbank? They supposedly post ads to facebook, instagram, twitter, youtube, the position is called Social Sales Representative, its another work from home position. They want you to pay a fee too join their program, then you can start earning large sums of monies. Please check out this organization and let me know your findings.
May 22, 2018

In reply to by Bossraider01

In general, if they want you to pay to work for them, it’s a scam.
May 19, 2018
I was contacted about a work at home travel sales for a co, named Bussiness Solutions or coastal123 and/or travel wit me and I was wondering if they are ligit
May 21, 2018
1 401 257-7127 work from home scam
May 23, 2018
I appreciate companies like the Federal Trade Commission, Thank you for looking out for the good honest people who just want to support their country with a good tax paying job.
June 06, 2018
Miseducation, I was taken for a ride, I did not loose any money, however my trust level is at a low, due to the fact I was contacted by someone claiming to be a tech from Google. Nowadays, my phone want stop ringing. Thank you F.T.C., for the education. Now, my phone and other devices are on the blank.
June 24, 2018
I was wondering if Merrill Lynch really is in the market of needing work at home data entry employees? I was sent a check in the mail for all the supplies I am going to need and I am not wanting to put this check in my account to only be scammed. I am needing a job at home so that I can deal with my health issues. This would be perfect. But I have this feeling of that old saying, “if it’s too good to be true”..... then it probably is. Just wanting a little input because I am just trying to help my husband out with the bills.
Michelle Mac
August 06, 2018

In reply to by Justanothermom…

It is a scam. I was notified by text message that a large company was looking for an Admin Assistant to work at home. They wanted me to interview via Google Hangouts, which I did. They "hired" me and said they would send a check to me via FedEx to cover the cost of me buying all I needed to outfit my home office. I called the company that was supposedly hiring and talked to their Human Resources dept (while I was doing my online interview!) and found that they were aware that their company had been being used by these scammers. If I were to follow through, I would deposit the check that the scammers sent (and send them proof of the deposit) and then buy everything I "needed" from THEIR supplier. Eventually I would find that the check that they sent me was no good, and I had sent them my own money by purchasing their supplies. I reported this to the FTC.
August 12, 2019

In reply to by Michelle Mac

The entire Board of Directors welcome you to Myself and the entire Board of Directors welcome you to You will work 40 hours   in a week, is that okay with you ? You will be receiving your duties online everyday and i will always be online to assist you with any difficulties This is part of what Mr. Smith said...he wants me to give him my bank information which I’m not comfortable giving out. Someone on Facebook told me about this in a group called WACO MOMS IN THE KNOW...we interviewed on hangouts and he told me I’m hired. Just like that! I told him I don’t have a bank account or PayPal. I asked him if he can just send me a check and he told me they don’t send checks...and I messaged the girl and she guarantees that this is legit. I don’t think so. I haven’t sent them anything cuz I don’t have any money!
Aki Tomo
May 28, 2019
What about that company called WeRunAds. com? All their owners and "Business Mentors" are ex MOBE associates and top earners. MOBE is the company that is been caught by the FTC just this June. They are charged people tens of thousands of dollars for a so called mentor scholarship of $100,000 to fast track people to the top in the MOBE business. They have also charged people $500 a month for an "exclusive " Facebook group membership that suppose to help them learn how to make millions in MOBE. Yet they refusing to refund any of that money to their members after MOBE was shut by the FTC. The top owner of that company had already been charged by the FTC along with the main man in MOBE. How did this slip through the net. They must be stopped.
May 28, 2019
Is “Secrets of Wealth” acscam
Another potent…
December 19, 2018
Thanks for confirming my suspicions. MillionaireBizPro has put a little different spin on their pitch, but the end result seemed to be headed in the same direction. The UpSell was the same and while it was in small numbers each time, there were enough of them to add up.