How much would you pay for the opportunity to work at home and earn six figures in less than 90 days? That’s what the Digital Altitude company promised: You pay for training and coaching, and you’ll be shown how you can pull in the big bucks almost effortlessly.
Digital Altitude then systematically defrauded victims out of more than $14 million, providing little more than some training videos and several PDF documents.
Unfortunately, most people made little or no money through this job-training series – and certainly nowhere near the six-figure mark!
Business-opportunity scams like this one are nothing new. Learn to spot these scams so that you don’t become the next victim.
How it works
Most business scams target victims through ads and videos posted on websites and social media platforms. Look for the following:
- Outrageous claims: “You’ll receive a guide showing you how to earn six figures in 90 days.”
- Deceptive testimonials: The marketing tactics will likely include videos of members spending their days tanning at the beach while their accounts swell with little effort. Sounds incredible? It certainly would be – if it were true.
- High-pressure upselling: “If you don’t pay X dollars to move to the next membership tier, you’re leaving $80,000 on the table.”
- Free trial periods that aren’t: The ad claims the first two weeks of training are free. But did you read the fine print? That’s where they tell you you’ll first need to pay for the next three months of membership and that there’s just a small time window to cancel.
Verifying a legitimate business
Here’s how to spot authentic organizations and avoid scams:
- Ask for information: According to the law, anyone selling a business opportunity worth $500 or more must provide all prospective buyers with specific, detailed information about the opportunity. Demand real answers!
- Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB): Visit bbb.org to verify a business’s legitimacy.
- Verify alleged associations: Scammers might claim to be associated with a well-known company. Call their “business partner” directly to check if their claim holds any water.
Beware of the following when investigating a business opportunity:
- An earnings claim that does not include the number and percentage of people who actually achieved this claim.
- Work hours and obligations that sound too minimal to be realistic.
- A company asking for upfront payment to fund training, or for the employment opportunity.
If you’ve been targeted
If you think you’ve been victimized by a business scam, take appropriate action to help stop the scammers in their tracks. First, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Next, alert the proper authorities, including your state attorney general, your county or state consumer protection agency and the local BBB.
By arming yourself with knowledge, you can protect yourself from these money-hungry criminals.