Would you pay $49 for a “secret code” to make huge sums of money automatically? That’s what the FTC says the fraudsters behind the Mobile Money Code scam promised. In fact, the FTC alleges that the defendants and their affiliate marketers were out to rip people off.
In a case announced today, the FTC says the defendants took more than $7 million and provided nothing more than software products that showed people how to create a mobile-friendly website.
The FTC says that the defendants paid a network of affiliate marketers to drive people to its websites. These affiliates used spam emails to push false claims and deceptive marketing. According to the FTC, they included:
- Fake testimonials — “real life” rags to riches stories… that were really from paid actors
- Outrageous claims — “You can make $1,000 to $5,000 a day just by having this app running in the background”
- High-pressure upselling — for more money you could have a “ready to go” business worth over $250,000
- Subject lines like “In transit: Payment into your account”
- “Hassle-free” money-back guarantees they did not honor
If someone promises you fast and easy money, it’s a scam. Do you feel yourself wanting to believe it? Watch out! That’s a normal reaction scammers count on. Do not take the bait. Slow down. Search the company’s name online with words like “scam” or “complaint.” Talk to a friend, and help others by reporting what you’ve spotted to FTC.gov/complaint.