At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Utah Division of Consumer Protection,  a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Zurixx, LLC, a company that puts on real estate seminars in which attendees are supposedly told how to make large amounts of money buying houses, quickly updating them and then reselling them at a substantial profit, a technique referred to commonly as “flipping.”  The advertisements for Zurixx feature endorsements by many celebrity house flippers , such as Tarek and Christina El Moussa from HGTV’s “Flip or Flop,”  HIlary Farr from HGTV’s “love it or List it” and Peter Souhleris and Dave Seymour from A & E’s “Flipping Boston.”  However, despite these celebrity endorsements, the FTC allege that Zurixx’s seminars are a scam.  They start with a “free” seminar that really is merely a sales presentation for its three-day workshops that cost $1,997 despite Zuixx’s representations that you would learn everything you needed to know to profitably flip houses from the “free seminar.”  In fact, according to the FTC, even the three day workshops act as a beginner course and people enrolling in the course are lured into paying as much as $41,297 for more detailed products and services.

According to the FTC, Zurixx makes a litany of misrepresentations to lure people into paying for courses and services that do not provide the promised results.  Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said, “From start to finish, these defendants used the promise of easy money and in-depth information to lure consumers down a path that could cost them thousands of dollars and put them in serious debt.  When a company tells consumers they have the secret to get rich with little work, we encourage consumers to take a hard look at what’s really being offered.”

TIPS

Always be wary of seminars that offer get rich quick schemes that indicate that little effort or investment by you is required.  Do your research with the FTC and your state’s attorney general to see if there have been complaints against any company that puts on such seminars.  As for flipping specifically, it is important to remember that the people you see doing this on television shows are experienced contractors and designers who do this full time and have done so for years.  Flipping is not a simple job for part-timers.  Additionally, the celebrity flippers you see on television also often get special prices for labor and materials by suppliers in return for the publicity they receive on the television shows.  You won’t get those breaks.

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