Scammers are always looking for people to lure into schemes, in any language. The latest twist: scammers placing social media ads in Spanish, inviting people to free “seminars” where they’ll learn how to profit from an online business or real estate investments. But will you make money? Or is the company that is speaking your language scamming you?
According to the FTC, that’s what happens with a company called Vision Online, Inc., doing business as Ganadores Online and Ganadores Inversiones Bienes Raíces. The company uses social media ads to get Spanish speakers to come to free in-person seminars, which then pitch three-day workshops in Spanish. Like similar training schemes the FTC has shut down, Ganadores says they’ll teach people how to make money selling on Amazon or investing in real estate.
But the FTC says these seminars and workshops are sales events. Ganadores — which translates to “Winners” in English — uses big money claims, which the FTC says are false or baseless. The company tries to get people to spend thousands on packages that supposedly coach, train, or mentor them in running an online store or real estate investing. If buyers realize afterwards that they’ve been scammed, they then find they had only three days to cancel and get money back. And if Ganadores agrees to give some money back, they make people sign contracts stopping them from posting bad reviews about the company.
To avoid a business coaching or real estate investment scam:
- Research the company and offer online. Use words like “complaint”, “review”, or “scam” to see what people say about it before paying.
- Question promises of big money or profits. All investments have risks. Only scammers guarantee success or a return on an investment.
- Read success stories and reviews with skepticism. Many are faked or misleading. Look at different sources and well-known websites for trustworthy and impartial expert reviews.
- Don’t sign contracts telling you not to say anything bad about a company. If someone tells you to, stop. That’s a sign of a scam and illegal. Tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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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