The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently banned five companies and their owners for allegedly operating work-from-home business opportunity scam.
According to the FTC, Gregory Anderson and Garret Robbins and their companies including Giraffe Marketing Group LLC, Cloud Click, L.L.C., Elevate Consulting International LLC, Cove Solutions LLC, and Lake View Holdings LLC engaged in deceptive business practices.
In its complaint, the Commission alleged that the defendants’ scammed consumers by encouraging them to join their work-from-home” business opportunity program and pay upfront fee of $97. They promised consumers that joining the program will allow them to make significant amount of income from home by posting advertising links on websites. After paying the fee, consumers realized that they were victims of a scam because the program did not provide them with advertising links to make money.
The FTC found that Anderson, Robbins, and their companies lured consumers through advertisements in spam e-mails. The defendants hired affiliate marketing networks to send spam e-mails promoting their work-from-home business opportunity scam to consumers nationwide. They marketed their fraudulent program under different names including Online Cash Commission, Excel cash Flow, and Cash From Home.
The defendants obtained millions of dollars from consumers who paid to join the work-from-home business opportunity scam. They made millions more by deceiving their consumers into calling certain telemarketing sales floors, which convinced them to buy one-on-one business coaching packages costing thousands of dollars.
The FTC accused the defendants of violating Section 5 of the FTC Act, the Business Opportunity Rule, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
Work-From-Home business opportunity scam operators settle with FTC
The defendants agreed to settle the FTC’s complaint without admitting or denying their wrongdoing.
Under the settlement agreement, the Commission prohibited Anderson, Robbins and their companies from selling or helping others sell any business coaching service or business opportunity.
In addition, they cannot hold ownership interest, share, or stock in any business, other than a publicly traded company, that engages in advertising, marketing, or selling business coaching service or business opportunity.
In addition, the FTC required the defendants to pay $10,923, 138 as equitable monetary relief.
Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection warned consumers, “Be very skeptical of promises that you’ll make a lot of money by working from home. In this case and many others, we see companies that are just out to take your money, not help you make it.”