The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent warning letters to ten multi-level marketing companies demanding they stop claiming that their products can treat or prevent the Coronavirus and stop making misleading claims about the amount of money people can earn by participating in their multi-level marketing companies.  The ten companies are doTERRA International LLC, Pruvit Ventures, Inc., Total Life Changes, LLC, Tranont, Modere, Inc., Arbonne International, LLC, IDLife, LLC, It Works Marketing, Inc. Rodan & FIelds, LLC and Zurvita, Inc.   Sometimes a legitimate multilevel marketing business may look quite similar to an illegitimate pyramid scheme, which is one of the reasons that so many people fall prey to these scams.  For every legitimate multilevel marketing company, such as Mary Kay and Amway, there are many that are just scams.  In a legitimate multilevel marketing company, investors make money by selling products to the public and by recruiting new salespeople.  In a pyramid scheme the source of profits is based primarily on the recruiting of new members or salespeople.

In these cases, none of the ten companies are accused by the FTC of being illegal pyramid schemes, but six of the companies are alleged to have made false representations that their products could treat or prevent the Coronavirus and also falsely misrepresented the amount of money that could be earned selling their products.  Three of the companies are alleged to have made false representations as to the amounts of money people could earn selling their products and one company is accused of making false health claims.

According to Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, “During this health and economic crisis, we are on the lookout for false income claims for work-at-home opportunities, in addition to spurious health claims that products can treat or prevent COVID-19.”

TIPS

Anyone who is considering investing in what is represented to be a multilevel marketing business should always investigate the company and the terms of investment carefully before investing any money.  In addition, you should also check out the company with the FTC and your state’s attorney general to make sure that the company is legitimate before investing any money.  Here is a link to information from the FTC that you should consider before investing in a multilevel marketing business.  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0065-multilevel-marketing

As for supplements that purport to provide health benefits, you should never buy them or sell them unless you have thoroughly investigated the legitimacy of the claims and it cannot be overemphasized that there are no products being sold at this time that have been scientifically proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”