Just because you see it on television doesn’t make it so.
We’re all familiar with program-length commercials for food apparatuses and beauty schemes. Most of them sell stuff costing less than $100. And then there are those 30-minute real estate shows that some stations run in fringe time to make some extra bucks. They try to lure viewers into sending a modest fee to get the basics of their schemes, and later try to sell super-expensive services. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently took note of them, and found some to be fraudulent.
Bottom line: If it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.
The FTC assessed large penalties against three companies. They are “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.” Just the names of the last two shows should raise questions in viewers’ minds – almost nobody gets rich in 14 days, and there usually aren’t any shortcuts to making millions on the Internet.
The FTC says almost a million people sent money to the three firms, and of course, most of those people never benefitted or prospered. A government official told Broadcasting Magazine that a $478-million judgment against the three firms “…serves notice to anyone thinking of using phony get-rich-quick schemes to defraud customers. The FTC will come after you if you violate the law.”