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If you’ve ever fantasized about never having to worry about money again, you’re not alone. There are companies peddling investment strategies to, they say, make your dreams come true. But before you spend big money for a chance at wealth, read on.

In its case against Online Trading Academy (OTA), the FTC says people were lured into paying as much as $50,000 for “training” and a “patented strategy” that OTA said would teach them how to create wealth by investing in stocks, bonds, and other securities. In infomercials and other ads encouraging people to attend free preview events, OTA stated or implied that its investment strategy would set people up for life – and even let them stop working.

At the free preview events, says the FTC, OTA piled on the promises of more investment information and higher earnings … if only people would agree to pay $300 for OTA’s Market Timing Orientation. At the orientations, OTA shared supposed success stories from, for example, someone who claimed to be making $800 a day trading, and another who claimed monthly profits in the thousands or tens of thousands. OTA also showed supposed live trades yielding significant returns -- but these were often fake trades, according to the FTC. The FTC says OTA used such earnings claims to pitch additional training costing anywhere from around $19,000 to $50,000 or more. But, despite all the hype, OTA allegedly had no basis for its claims of substantial earnings. Most purchasers weren’t able to use OTA’s purported strategy to make any money. In fact, many, if not most, lost money trading on top of the large sums they paid OTA.

The FTC says OTA often encouraged consumers to take out short term loans from OTA to finance the purchase of its training -- telling them that no interest was due for the first six months. But most people were unable to repay their loans within that time frame and ended up paying as much as 18 percent in loan interest. In addition, OTA allegedly tried to silence dissatisfied customers who sought a refund from OTA by requiring them to sign agreements barring them from posting negative reviews about OTA and its personnel, or from reaching out to law enforcement agencies about OTA and its practices.

Investing always comes with some risk. But investment programs that promise to teach you how to make substantial returns with a high degree of likelihood are often scams. Learn more about how to protect yourself by checking out Investment and Business Opportunity Scams.


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February 12, 2020
It happened to me. And I gave it 6 years of my all and haven't made a dime in fact i lost money. It just got to the point where I didnt believe them anymore. It seemed to be more about keeping the money machine rolling than helping the students. Also the "patented" strategy claims to take advantage of areas on the chart where large amounts of unfilled orders exist. They cant even explain they're strategy as each instructor teaches it differently. In total I spent over 30k including lifetime access to training materials. I was under high pressure to purchase at the 3 day market timing course and had to finance all of it. I still have 5000 of it on a credit card at 24% interest. So if they get shutdown not only am I out my money I lose my lifetime access to their training. Because of all the money I spent on the tuition I've had little to no capital to trade with. For the amount of revenue they bring in they were not providing enough value for the price of the education. It is said that 90% or more of retail traders fail. If that's the case how can they make such promises and not provide any results of how their students are actually doing. In the classes I attended they bribed students into posting positive google reviews in exchange for a drawing to win a free crypto currency class. Also we have no ideas how their instructors are doing as traders and Im sure the instructors are compensated enough for it not to matter if they are successful traders or not.
February 13, 2020
my wife and I have managed our own portfolio forever. not sure if this is the same company that advertises every weekend on a local radio show, that if you just follow our instructor and punch the buttons at the right time- you might get wealthy. Sounds too tempting and simple- if that's all it takes, why would you need analyst, brokerages etc?
February 13, 2020
Thank for this much needed information. I have been receiving information from OTA. I'm glad I followed my 1st mind and did not get involved with OTA.
February 13, 2020
Why is this company still allowed to continue to advertise aggressively over radio, by mail?
February 14, 2020
"[R]equiring them to sign agreements barring them from.... reaching out to law enforcement agencies about OTA and its practices." Hello? A company that wants people to sign an agreement barring them from contacting law enforcement is one heck of a red flag.
It’s me too
February 18, 2020

In reply to by Cappy

I was the one who had to sign that agreement because I wanted my money returned and that was the only way they would refund my money. I, fortunately, got in writing I could get a refund if after attending the first class I wanted out. I did want out and getting the money returned was challenging and required I sign the document referenced here. I was one of the lucky ones realizing it was not possible to do what they claimed.
February 15, 2020
I unfortunately gave in and lost over 65k of my Retirement and I have just retired a year ago, in these Investment programs. And because I authorized the transactions the bank won't even think about giving monies back.
February 17, 2020
I am retired and was a target of this company. I paid in excess of $40,000 for their products, which I do not consider worth that amount. I have had to dip into my savings to pay back the loans. They use very high pressure and well crafted tactics to persuade people wanting to get rich. It's true that no documented evidence of success was ever produced and it's likely that most of the instructors are people in my situation who are willing to "work off their debt" by bilking others.
February 28, 2020
Thank you so much.
March 04, 2020
Employees are also bullied to sign NDA’s.
April 26, 2020
I lost more than $40,000 to their lies. They should go to prison. I am ready to come in court to give testimony, they should stop that.
Ota student
May 19, 2020
I signed up with OTA 5 years ago. I paid the $50,000 for the program. They put me in a room and kept telling me that the program is actually $100,000 and if I sign today, I can have it for $50,000 (which i knew that wasn't true). They showed me the "pro picks" on their program, and assured me that even if I spent years and still couldn't learn how to trade, I could just take their pro picks and I would make all the money back in 6 months time. So after a year, I kept loosing money with their program. I in fact did better using my own made up strategy. I began taking all their pro picks, then I noticed that the ones that didn't work out, they started to "disappear". And the ones that didn't work, but were still posted, they waited until the trade was finished before they would post whether it was "taken, or not taken". Conveniently, the trades that worked were the ones that they said they took (a day before) and the ones that blew past the stop loss, they would write the next day it was not taken, and they would have some exaturated lie about why they didn't. I just received 2 degrees, and finished top of my class, so I know about hard work. I assumed that with hard work, OTA would work.....but in fact it is just a scheme with manipulated pro picks, and instructors who dont even trade professionally. And after I called and complained about the manipulated pro pick trades, they just used agression with me and threatened to kick me out of the program! AFTER I PAID THE TUITION IN FULL!
June 17, 2020
This is bigger than Bernie Madoff.
June 25, 2020
When are they going to stop sending the account statement?. UAS their collection agency is still sending billing. In times like this..they still want to fool people? I hope FTC will resolve this case soon and help a lot of students.