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Imagine a coach talking to a team on the sideline: “Guys, I have a super strategy sure to give you a winning running game, which I’ll sell you for $97. Want an unstoppable passing attack? That’ll cost you thousands more.” According to the FTC, a group of operators promised that consumers would make big money by using their work-from-home “program” for just a few hours a week. Then they pitched pricey “business coaching packages,” also with misleading money-making claims. A recent lawsuit blows the whistle on their deception.

Fat Giraffe Marketing sold what they called Excel Cash Flow, Online Cash Commission, and the Cash From Home Program. At first glance, the ads looked like independent reviews by bloggers or investigative reporters. They featured logos from news channels and eye-catching headlines like “Mom Makes $7,487/Month And You Won’t Believe How She Does It!” But once consumers paid for the “program,” they were blitzed with expensive upsells for one-on-one “consultations.”

According to the FTC, Fat Giraffe’s program amounted to a big fat zero. The reviews were fake, the success stories were phony, and that money-making Mom didn’t exist. The settlement bans the defendants for life from marketing any business opportunity or business coaching service.

Looking to break into business? Take these steps to help protect yourself.

Arm yourself with information. Before spending anything for a money-making seminar, service, or program, consult resources from the FTC about working from home or starting a business.

Be wary of upsells. Many scammers follow a formula. They lure consumers in with a lower-priced program and then unleash high-pressure tactics to sell expensive services. Our advice is to resist the pitch. If you didn’t achieve the results you wanted initially, don’t give them any more money.

Looking for a coach? Join the home team. Why pay for questionable coaching services when successful business people in your community will share their expertise for free? Approach an experienced entrepreneur in your neighborhood, place of worship, or circle of friends. Sit down over coffee and download their advice. The Small Business Administration has helpful resources, including volunteer small business mentors affiliated with the SBA’s SCORE program.

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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.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

February 14, 2019
I have seen this from many companies and they spam me all the time. Why did it take so long to crack this company down. What is FTC doing to put these companies away permanently.
February 14, 2019
Thanks for the tip!
Howie Mar
February 14, 2019
This is good advice on the cons that are being pushed from such fraudsters such as fat giraffe. Why doesn't the FTC take out ads on youtube or similar outlets that let people know the cons. One of the big cons are the options "experts" such as "Raging Bull" and others that advertise on youtube and like.
Teacher 2019
February 14, 2019
I sincerely wish that the FTC could get involved with investigating "consultants" hired by school districts. These "consultants" peddle too good to be true "solutions" that are promised to raise test scores and/or take care of difficult discipline problems. They travel around, giving presentations to school districts (who pay them tens of thousands of dollars). Several years later, that program is out of vogue, only to be replaced by yet another group of expensive "consultants." Lather, rinse, and repeat.
February 14, 2019
Doesn't sound any different then UL Group, Amazon, Rory Riccord, Miles Davis, Leslie Jones etc. Except I'm out $9000.00. Also, how are any of the above different than Amazing Wealth.
Peg E
February 14, 2019
Excellent thank you!! I've been trying for months to get money back that was guaranteed from one company becuz I ended up in the hospital and have still been sick. Getting nowhere fast
February 16, 2019
I wish you would bust a scam company called focuslc.
February 16, 2019
I very much appreciate all that you do. I wish we could find all or at least half of these scammers. They create so much stress, pain and irritation. Thank you again
October 14, 2019
What about so-called "spiritual leaders" in the New Age communities using a live event to upsell extravagantly-priced biz coaching programs once they brainwash you into your most vulnerable places? Then thinking they're above the FTC rules because they're in California?