Mind your business (opportunity)

Many people dream about being their own boss. Controlling their own schedule, running things their way, and being in charge of their own earning potential? What’s not to love?

Chasing that dream wisely, though, means knowing the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a scam.

The FTC, working with other federal and state agencies, has cracked down on fraudsters targeting the unemployed and underemployed with bogus promises of big bucks through work-at-home opportunities. The Online Entrepreneur is the latest in a long list of companies stopped in their tracks by law enforcers.

The Online Entrepreneur allegedly swindled consumers by selling them a program providing websites that the company promised would enable them to earn lots of money through affiliate marketing with the likes of Prada, Sony, Louis Vuitton and Verizon. However, after buying this “Six Figure Program” for $27, people discovered they then had to pay $100 or more in additional costs just to set up their websites.  

The settlement bans The Online Entrepreneur from selling business and work-at-home opportunities. The court halted the allegedly deceptive practices, froze the defendants’ assets, and put the companies behind the scam into receivership pending a court hearing. 

Learn how to spot a bogus business opportunity and watch this video on law enforcement efforts to stop those who prey on consumers trying to earn a living. And, please, file a complaint with the FTC if you suspect you’re being taken in by a business opportunity scam.

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