Operation Shortchange – The FTC takes on scammers
I’m pretty confident most if not all of you know that we’re currently in a recession or as the more politically correct like to call it: “An economic downturn”. When I say everyone, I mean everyone…even the crooks and scammers. During these lean times, con artists are out in masses looking for opportunities to scam people by offering what seems like legitamate solutions. These scammers aren’t just taking money from people, but from our economy as well.
Scammers commonly work by offering people hope in the form of job placement, access to free government grant money, get-rich-quick plans, phony debt-reduction services, or the chance to work at home. Once you sign-on, these scammers do nothing but put you further in the hole by taking your money and doing nothing in return or even worse: using the information you provided to steal your identity.
I recently received an email from the FTC making me aware of a new program they have called Operation Shortchange. Operation Shortchange is an effort by the FTC to aggressively educate consumers on how to spot a scam. They are also significantly increasing law enforcement of scamming operations. They recently announced 15 FTC cases, 44 law enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, and actions by at least 13 states and the District of Columbia in order to make a significant and positive impact. You can read all about the cases in the FTCs detailed article.
Of course law enforcement can only do so much, and the best way to attack this ever growing trend is by educating the public. The FTC knows this, and as a result has created a video that teaches people how to spot scams and scammers. The new video features two scam victims and a former telemarketer of fraudulent business opportunities who explains exactly how he got people to part with their money. Check out the cases and the video at www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/07/shortchange.shtm.
The FTC has also created a resource to assist you with avoiding business opportunity scams. You can read all about those at www.ftc.gov/bizopp.
Don’t be a victim of a scam
Don’t be a victim of slimey scammer. Spend a few minutes viewing the FTCs site watching the video and reading up on their resources. Spread the word too as I think everyone can benefit greatly from this information.
Photo by: Salim Virji