Fraudsters have been using “easy money” scams for years. However, methods have been adapted to exploit advances in technology, which has helped with tricking victims into new cons.
For instance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against Digital Altitude LLC and other defendants in February. The agency alleged that the company’s operations misrepresented an online business “coaching program.” The defendants told consumers they would receive individualized coaching from successful marketers, yet most of defendants’ customers never earned substantial income as a result of the coaching. The scheme was promoted using webpages and social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
While scams may have changed over the years, the goal never varies. Swindlers want access to your wallet and your bank account.
You can avoid “easy money” schemes by following three straight-to-the-point practices:
- Conduct an online search. Look for complaints by searching for the company’s name and phone number online, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. You may be able to find out if the company has a a good -- or bad -- reputation, and why.
- Hang up on high-pressure sellers. If you’re told something like, “You’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table by not moving up to the next membership tier,” don’t fall for it. Trust your gut feeling and pass on the offer. You can always do a search online to learn more if you're still curious about the service or offer.
- Be skeptical of outrageous claims. Does this company really offer a turnkey system that will enable you to earn six figures in 90 days or less? If the claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
To report fraud, identity theft, or an unfair business practice, visit the FTC Complaint Assistant page. You can also file a business complaint using the BBB Online Complaint System.