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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began mailing over 2,000 checks totaling more than $372,000 to victims of a work-at-home scheme.

In June, American Business Builders settled with the FTC over alleged deceptive practices. According to the FTC, consumers paid American Business Builders fees ranging from $295 to $495 to sell payment processing services and credit card terminals to small businesses. Consumers were told they could make substantial income earning commissions on terminals sold or leased to merchants in their communities. Additionally, American Business Builders sold sales leads, charging $10 per lead, and promised to conduct telemarketing campaigns that would generate customers and income. Some consumers paid up to $40,000, but never received any promised customer leads. As part of the settlement, the defendants are also banned from selling business and work-at-home opportunities.

On average, consumers will receive a refund check of $137. The FTC advices checks be cashed within 60 days of receipt and reminds consumers that they will never need to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

For more information about this settlement, contact the FTC’s refund administrator, Rust Consulting Inc., at 800-373-9651. To learn more about the FTC’s refund program, visit www.ftc.gov/refunds. For more information on work-at-home scams, read our blog: http://bit.ly/2pCVjl7

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

 

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