FTC Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Halting Work-at-Home Scam Targeting Consumers

The defendants allegedly lured consumers into buying an online system, falsely promising thousands of dollars in at-home earnings

FTC Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Halting Work-at-Home Scam Targeting Consumers
Image: Morguefile
August 18, 2017

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a federal court has entered a temporary restraining order halting a deceptive work-at-home scam.

Promised thousands in earnings

According to the FTC, the defendants allegedly lured consumers into buying an online system, falsely promising that they would earn thousands of dollars in their spare time working from home.

The Commission says that the defendants operated under various brand names, including Work At Home EDU, Work At Home Program, Work At Home Ecademy, Work At Home University, Work At Home Revenue, and Work at Home Institute.

The defendants routinely claimed that people could earn "hundreds of dollars per hour from home, without any special skills or experience." They used online "native" advertising—promotional content that resembles the non-advertising material beside it—to reach consumers who were researching work-at-home opportunities on the internet.

For example, they placed a link to their Work At Home EDU website near an article about working from home on the website Forbes.com.

The defendants

Bobby J. Robinson, Michael Sirois, Bob Robinson LLC, Mega Export 2005 Inc., Mega Export USA Inc., and Netcore Solutions LLC are charged in this case with violating the FTC Act and the FTC's Business Opportunity Rule. The Rule requires business opportunity sellers to make certain disclosures to help consumers evaluate the opportunity, and prohibits such sellers from making earnings claims without adequate substantiation.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, entered a temporary restraining order against the defendants on August 8, 2017. The FTC has requested the entry of a preliminary injunction that would halt the scam until trial. An evidentiary hearing on the request is set for August 24, 2017.