Are you skeptical about those real estate programs advertised on long-form television ads that promise riches to those who buy into the program? The FTC was, and the result is a court-ordered payment of $478M from three such companies.
The companies on the hot seat include “John Beck’s Free & Clear Real Estate System,” “John Alexander’s Real Estate Riches in 14 Days,” and “Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions.”
According to the FTC, nearly 1 million consumers paid money to the firms, and most of them lost it. The initial buy-in for the programs was set at $39.95, and personal coaching services sold subsequently could run as high at $14,995.
Jeffrey Klurfeld, Director of the Western Region of the Federal Trade Commission, issued the following statement regarding the Order: “This huge judgment serves notice to anyone thinking of using phony get-rich-quick schemes to defraud consumers. The FTC will come after you if you violate the law. It’s also a reminder to consumers that they should be skeptical about these types of easy-money claims.”
In addition to the fine, the court installed a life-long ban against involvement in either the infomercial or telemarketing business to the three defendants.