FTC Stops “Work-at-Home” Job Scammers From Working Anywhere With $55m Settlement

Some jobs really do let you work from home part or all of the time. And some jobs really do pay $50 or more per hour. Those jobs don’t come knocking on your door asking you to take them, though, and they don’t advertise openings through overly excited, unsolicited e-mails and texts. But scammers do offer those “opportunities” in spam galore–and of course, they are actually opportunities for miscreants to part consumers from their money. The FTC, however, does not take kindly to scammers using deceptive tactics to pry money out of people, and has just shut several of them down.

The FTC filed a complaint in 2012 against several different businesses claiming to offer business opportunities and “mystery shopper” jobs. In reality, the organizations in question tricked consumers into paying to join programs that then had recurring monthly charges. This week, the FTC announced several different settlement agreements with companies and individuals named in the 2012 complaint.

The complaint named Shopper Systems LLC, Revenue Works LLC (also known as Surplus Supplier), EMZ Ventures LLC, The Veracity Group LP, Brett Brosseau, Michael Moysich, and Keith R. Powell. The FTC has reached a series of separate settlement orders with everyone named in the complaint, but the total of judgements against all the companies and individuals is over $55.3 million.

Every party in the complaint is now banned from selling “business or work-at-home opportunities.” Several are also now prohibited from sending unsolicited text messages.

The judgements, outside of about $500,000, will mainly be suspended (that is, not paid) as the companies have already had their assets frozen, liquidated them, or surrendered them and are broke.

FTC Shuts Down Business Opportunity Scam [FTC]