The Federal Trade Commission and partner organizations spent two days surfing the net advertisements as well as print advertisements and found that around two-thirds of the more than 300 Spanish-language work at home opportunities were possibly deceptive.
The FTC has requested that a federal district court stop one business in particular from advertising an envelope stuffing business which falsely promised a large sum of money as well as a payment of $17.50 for each enveloped that the workers stuffed according to their directions.
The FTC has been working with the Spanish language media to identify any potential fraud in advertising for work at home opportunities as well as other types of adds.
On January 21 and January 24, 2007 the FTC and fourteen other organizations looked for work at home opportunities adds in Spanish that had the appearance of being false. They found a total of 314 adds and out of these 68% met their definition of an add that appeared to be false or misleading.
Using their past experienced with fraud, the FTC staff was able to spot the adds that were deceptive. The criteria they used was if the add had claims of specific earnings, said that the opportunity was no risk or offered certain types of work at home opportunities that have been found, in many cases, to be fraudulent such as craft assembly and envelope stuffing. They found that 41% offered specific earnings, 21% offered either craft assembly or envelop stuffing and 4% claimed that it was no risk. And many of them required an up front fee, but only 6% mentioned this fact in their add.
In one particular envelop stuffing scheme that the FTC has just announced they are taking action against an add that said the worker could make $1400/week stuffing envelopes. It went on to say the work was easy there was no experience necessary. and they would get a $200 cash hiring bonus.
The consumers were given a toll free number to call or they could visit a web site. When they did they were told they would be paid at least $17.50 for every envelope they stuffed and they were guaranteed a weekly pay of up to $1,400 or more. However, after paying a registration deposit of $45, most never heard from them again or they were told that they would have to run the same adds and make the same claims to others in order to get their money. The judge ordered an ex parte temporary restraining order against them and froze their assets. The FTC is seeking to permanently stop them than and forfeit their fraudulent profits. The defendants are Integrity Marketing Team, Inc., Byron C. Peterson, and Min Sung Kim, doing business as Home Business System.
Source: FTC http://www.ftc.gov/