FTC Cracks down on Get Rich Quick TV Pitches

by Rodney Forbes on August 2, 2009

This post is dedicated to the thousands of people who have purchased infomercial “get rich quick” systems, whether they be for real estate, internet riches, or whatever.

The FTC has finally started to crack down on the worst offenders, the ones you see on TV every night. $39.95 doesn’t sound bad to make me rich, especially when I don’t need any experience or have to do any work. Just set the system up and watch the money roll in! Does that sound familair? It’s only when high pressure follow up calls begin for “personal coaching” that costs thousands.

The following is an excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC today announced that it has brought eight new cases against companies that have conned consumers who are struggling to make a living and pay their bills during these difficult economic times. The Commission brought seven additional cases challenging similar conduct earlier this year.

In each new case, the FTC alleged that the defendants’ practices were deceptive or unfair. In some of the cases, the FTC also charged the defendants with making illegal electronic funds transfers or violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

In the law enforcement actions announced today, the Commission charged:

John Beck/Mentoring of America, two principals, and three purported “inventors” marketed three get-rich-quick schemes, duping hundreds of thousands of consumers into paying approximately $300 million. The defendants marketed “John Beck’s Free & Clear Real Estate System,” “John Alexander’s Real Estate Riches in 14 Days,” and “Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions.” The defendants allegedly made false and unsubstantiated claims about potential earnings for users of these systems. They used frequently aired infomercials to sell the systems for $39.95 and then contacted the purchasers via telemarketing to offer “personal coaching services,” which cost several thousand dollars and purportedly would enhance their ability to earn money quickly and easily using the systems. In addition, all purchasers were signed up for continuity programs that cost an additional $39.95 per month, but which were not adequately disclosed to consumers. Some consumers also continued receiving unwanted sales calls after they told the defendants’ telemarketers to stop calling. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

If you ever wonder about some of the offers being touted on TV, do your own homework online and don’t believe ANYTHING you’re told by the marketers. Their only job is to separate you from your money.

In the end there is no way to get rich quick, unless you sell infomercial junk on TV!

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