Victims of Work-at-Home Business Opportunity Scam to Receive Refunds
Consumers were targeted with false claims of earning substantial income working from home
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is mailing 2,711 refund checks totaling more than $372,000 to consumers who paid American Business Builders and related entities for a home-based business opportunity.
False Promises of Big Money
According to the FTC, the defendants claimed that people would earn substantial income offering payment processing services, credit card terminals, and merchant cash advances to small businesses.
More specifically, an FTC complaint filed in November 2012 says that the defendants falsely claimed that, for a fee ranging from $295 to $495, consumers could make income in several ways, including earning commissions on terminals sold or leased to merchants.
They also sold sales leads and promised to conduct telemarketing campaigns that would generate customers and income. The defendants charged $10 per lead, with some consumers paying up to $40,000, but they failed to provide the promised customer leads for the consumers, and the consumers did not earn any income, according to the FTC's complaint.
Banned from the Business
Per a settlement with the FTC, the defendants, which include American Business Builders, ENF, Network Market Solutions, UMS Group, United Merchant Services, Universal Marketing and Training, and Unlimited Training Services, are now banned from selling any business and work-at-home opportunities and related services.
The average refund check amount in this case is $137.42. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days.
Be Wary of Scams
Always keep in mind that the FTC NEVER requires consumers to pay money or provide personal account information to cash a refund check. If anyone says otherwise and asks for such information, it is more than likely an attempt by a scammer to commit theft or fraud. Any such scam attempts should be reported to the FTC immediately.
Consumers with questions about this case can contact the FTC's refund administrator, Rust Consulting Inc., at (800) 373-9651.
To learn more about the FTC's refund program, visit FTC.gov/refunds.