Thursday, August 16, 2018
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New Easy Money Con, Same Old Tricks

What would you give for a turnkey system to earn six figures in 90 days or less, all while working from home? That’s what the defendants behind Digital Altitude promised. But the FTC alleges they did not deliver.

In a case announced today, the FTC says the defendants defrauded consumers out of more than $14 million, but provided nothing more than a series of “training” videos, a few PDF documents and so-called “coaching” sessions that turned out to be sales pitches to get people to pay even more.

The FTC says most people made little or no money. The few that did make money typically didn’t earn enough to cover their required membership fee and monthly dues. People were paid only when they recruited new members.

To reach people, the defendants used ads and videos on websites and social media platforms to sell memberships. Their methods included these tried and true tricks of the con artist’s trade:

  • Outrageous claims — “You are about to receive a very special guide that reveals how you can make six figures online in the next ninety days or less”
  • Deceptive testimonials — Videos of members scuba diving, hiking, and lounging by a pool as money poured in on autopilot
  • High-pressure upselling — “You are leaving $60,000 on the table” by not moving up to the next membership tier
  • Free trial periods that aren’t as they seem — Ads promising 14-day “test drives,” but fine print giving people just 72 hours to cancel

If someone promises you fast and easy money, you can bet it’s a scam. Slow down. Search the company’s name online with words like “scam” or “complaint.” Share what you know with a friend, and help others by reporting what you’ve spotted to FTC.gov/complaint.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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