They promise, that in one month, you can make more money while you sleep than you did last year at your day job. They swear that you don’t need any special skills, equipment, or talent. In fact, some of them suggest that you don’t even need to get dressed. They show “real people” talking about how they have earned “real money” using these simple products.
They are liars taking advantage of people’s fear during an ongoing recession and times of record high unemployment.
Think about it: if these products were in any way real, everyone would be using them.
The three infomercials that come up night after night, as if mocking my insomnia, are:
- John Beck’s Free & Clear Real Estate System
- John Alexander’s Real Estate Riches in 14 Days
- Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions
These scammers are all a part of Mentoring of America.
Here’s how the scam works: They sell their “systems” for anywhere from $19.95 to $39.95. Next, they have telemarketing companies contact everyone who bought a system and sell them expensive “personal coaching services” that will supposedly help them use the system and earn even more money. These services cost between $195 and $14,995. Even if you don’t fall for that, once you buy the program you are automatically enrolled in continuity programs which cost $39.95 a month.
They offer a 30-day guarantee but a quick search on Google shows plenty of people who claim that not only did they not get their money back but they couldn’t get into contact with the company to cancel.
Breakdown of each individual scam
John Beck claims that his system can help you buy properties in foreclosure for pennies on the dollar, that you will own this property free and clear with no monthly payments, that you can find, purchase and resell these properties over the internet and that you can do all of this with no real estate license.
If you can really find all of this on the internet, and you probably can, why do you need his system? We all have access to Google, and that’s free.
$19.95 + shipping & handling on www.johnbeck.tv
The FTC charged John Alexander’s Real Estate Riches in 14 Days. Now he’s calling it, John Alexander’s Foreclosure Fortunes in 14 Days. His website claims that he can teaches you to cash in on “today’s foreclosure tidal wave simply and easily”—all of this without using your own money or credit, and again, without a license. He also offers a free 30-day trial of his foreclosure vault which starts billing at $39.95 a month if you don’t (or can’t) cancel.
In Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Millions he promises that you can make millions sitting at home in your underwear. He claims you can earn $50,000 a month—without any prior experience with internet businesses. He promises “proven, turnkey internet businesses.” The turnkey businesses provided are nothing of the sort. You have to create your own products from scratch, enhance the simplistic websites provided and do all of the marketing yourself.
Mentoring of America
The “coaching services” are provided by Mentoring of America LLC and Family Products, LLC. These services cost between $195 and $14,995.
Operation Short Change
This past summer the FTC brought charges against all three of these scammers in a crackdown called Operation Short Change. These cases are still in litigation but if the FTC prevails, these con artists will have to substantially change their infomercials and websites. The FTC tries to stop the misconduct and to get people’s money back.
The FTC told me that people should, “Watch out for anything that sounds too good to be true. When you are promised that all you have to do is pay a small feel for big rewards that’s a huge red flag.”
They recommend that people:
- check with the BBB and the State Attorney General
- not give out any account information
- make sure you are not getting signed up for a monthly recurring club or fee
If you’ve been the victim of a scam contact your State Attorney General or contact the FTC directly.