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FTC launches crackdown on work-at-home scams

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US consumer rights organisation the Federal Trade Commission has joined up with law enforcement agencies to launch a crackdown on bogus job opportunity scams.

Project FAL$E HOPE$ encompasses 100 law enforcement actions against various bogus work-at-home scams. The bogus business opportunities targeted include vending machines, ATM and Internet terminals, display racks for coffee and ink cartridges, Internet-based businesses, envelope stuffing, medical billing, and others.

Scammers bilked $30m from job-seeking victims in four of the cons targeted by the FTC alone, the agency reports. The crackdown brings existing and new cases together under the same umbrella as well as encompassing an education program designed to assist ad sales staff in weeding out bogus business opportunities.

"Bogus business opportunities trample on Americans’ dreams of financial independence," said FTC chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. "If a business opportunity promises no risk, little effort, and big profits, it almost certainly is a scam. These scams offer only a money pit, where no matter how much time and money is invested, consumers never achieve the riches and financial freedom promised."

Tips for consumers in avoiding business opportunity scams are explained on the FTC web site here. ®

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