The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent body of the United States of America. FTC is a watchdog that practices vigilance against potentially deceitful organizations. It also keeps an eye on business houses that might be violating consumer rights and creating holes in the economy. FTC practices effective and speedy law enforcement towards the aggrieved party.
Having said that, FTC has charged MOBE with misleading and fraudulent business practices. MOBE or “My Online Business Education” supposedly sells a “21-steps” program. This “simple” program claims to be able to help consumers generate a considerable income without actually having to sell any concrete products or services. According to the allegations made by the FTC, MOBE has skimmed about $125 million dollars from its customers. Read along to find out the intricacies of this case.
What’s The Whole Case?
The Federal Trade Commission halted MOBE’s functioning and had the federal court freeze all of their assets. This is owing to the recent allegations by FTC on MOBE. The FTC has charged 3 individuals for falsely swindling around $125 million from a multitude of consumers by selling a falsified business model (MOBE).
According to the investigations of FTC, the culprits behind the scam target several US customers. These consumers included mostly veterans and older adults. MOBE duped these consumers via ads on social media, e-mails, and live events throughout the states. The investigation also proved that the perpetrators claimed that their business model will allow its customers to have their own businesses and earn a hefty income from it.
Evidences upon which the accusations have been premised are derived from several sources. Undercover agents of FTC, declarations signed by victims of MOBE, hotels, payment processes etc. all have given enough testimony.
MOBE worked by having its customers enrol in a 21-step program that will allow them to mint money by means of social media marketing. In order to enrol in the 21-step system, customers had to pay the sum of $49 as an entry fee. Thereafter, the enrolled consumers were flooded with packages for memberships that amounted to thousands of dollars. Consumers are compelled to go through with the payment of these packages as they were promised the “proven” 21-step strategy.
The biggest scam in MOBE appeared when it was revealed to the customers that the “proven” program for earning money is by doing the same with other consumers. In short, MOBE is not only extracting money on falsified claims but is propagating the same means of earning money to its members.
MOBE thrives on deceiving uninformed consumers. It tricks them into working for MOBE via means of selling more memberships of the same sort. In exchange for this, MOBE offers commissions, the more memberships you can sell the more commission you will churn. The high-end memberships are sold at a ridiculous amount of $29,990.
Not only that, MOBE operated by encouraging people to put their own ads on the social media and create different websites to promote the membership at MOBE. The customers were asked to copy emails and keep a record of all the evidences of getting others signed up for the membership at MOBE. To expand their scope of membership, MOBE sold add-on products to their member. This included the email ids of all those people who were more likely to enrol in the membership scam of MOBE. The perpetrators at MOBE repackaged and renamed their “21-step” system and sold it under different labels. Some ads reported displaying exaggerated and over hyped headlines in order to deceive consumers. These ad headlines were unbelievably attracting and promised them a six-figure salary without much hassle. Senior citizens were tricked via ads that read “easy retirement…..6 figure salary” etc.
According to the finding of FTC, several tricked consumers buy into these pricey memberships and end up with crippling losses. Consumers have suffered mounting debts and are unable to recoup with the loses of such high magnitude.
The FTC also claims that MOBE further makes its trickery concrete by claiming to have a refund or money-back policy. This leads the consumers to believe that the program is risk-free and safe. However, they do not practice these claims in actuality. They refuse to initiate refunds when asked and only honor their claims when consumers threaten to complain. This is how MOBE has been practicing its unfair trade practices under the radar of law enforcement agencies.
According to the allegations by FTC, the only thing MOBE sells is more memberships at MOBE. Resultantly, consumers who somehow managed to achieve targeted results by attracting more MOBE memberships fell into deeper pits financially. As revealed by a fine-print statement buried under all those attractive statements read an “average consultant will generate less than $250 dollars annually”.
Defendants & Aftermaths
The defendants of this case include Matthew Lloyd who also goes by the name Matt Lloyd. He is from an Australian origin currently residing in Kuala Lumpur. Other defendants related to this case are Susan Zanghi and Russell Whitney. Along with three individuals, the involvement of artificial bodies like MOBE ltd, MOBEProcessing.com, MOBETraining.com, Matt Lloyd Publishing, MOBE Pro Limited and Home Business Builders is existent.
The commission vote placing an approval on the allegations and complaint amounted to 5-0. The District Court of Florida in the Orlando Division issues a TRO against the perpetrators. This took place on 5th June this year.
Note that this is not the permanent judgment over this scam. Post-filling of complaint by the Commission this proceeding has taken place. This proceeding is temporary and the case has to be decided by the trials of the court.
MOBE scam has all of us shaken to the core. It is saddening how after all these acts and reforms produced to protect the consumer’s rights, customers from around the world are still so misinformed. The financial loses faced by the consumers is unmeasurable. On top of that to be able to pull off a scam of such great proportions will surely have its repercussions. MOBE will be held accountable for the financial holes created by it and the justice will be served.