Money-making scheme targets older people and veterans

If you’re just getting by, and someone offers you the chance to make more money through a business opportunity, you’d be willing to listen, right?

Unfortunately those offers often turn out to be just another scam. The FTC announced charges yesterday against three people and multiple companies behind a telemarketing scheme that targeted older people and military veterans, and took millions of dollars from people with promises they would multiply their investment.

Doing business under names like “Titan Income,” “Wyze Money,” “Prime Cash,” and “Building Money,” telemarketers called people about an “opportunity” to participate orinvest in e-commerce websites. The calles said people would earn a hefty income sharing in the revenue from the sites. They even said it was “risk-free” and promised a 100% money-back guarantee.

For a few months, the scammers made it seem like everything was going according to plan as people awaited their first earnings payment at the end of the quarter. During that time, some people who initially paid hundreds of dollars were convinced to pay thousands of dollars more to increase their return. The company even helped people move their now-huge credit card balances to new accounts with temporarily low or zero-interest balance transfers.

But it was all a lie. As soon as it was time for people to get paid, all contact stopped. There were no e-commerce earnings or investments. Anyone trying to get a refund of their investment was out of luck. Many people lost as much as $20,000.

If you’re considering putting money into a business opportunity, do some research first. By law, business opportunity promoters must give you certain information before you hand over any money.

Many of the people Building Money called were on the Do Not Call Registry. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. If you get calls like these, hang up and file a complaint with the FTC.