The Federal Trade Commission recently settled claims against Seed Consulting LLC after the FTC had filed a complaint against the company for charging consumers between $3,000 and $4,000 merely to apply on their behalf for multiple credit cards with total credit lines of more than $50,000, a practice referred to as “credit card stacking.” The credit cards were then used to pay for expensive and generally useless training programs that purported to train aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to start businesses or to become successful real estate investors.
According to Andrew Smith of the FTC, “Seed obtained credit cards for consumers by using inflated income, and then shared the credit limits with promoters of bogus real estate seminars who tricked consumers into maxing out the cards to pay for the seminar ‘tuition.'” Many of these training companies had already been charged by the FTC with operating deceptive training schemes. Most consumers who paid for these training programs earned little if anything from the programs and ended up with substantial credit card debt and lower credit scores.
Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, Seed Consulting LLC will pay 2.1 million dollars to the FTC which will be returning the funds to victims of the scam. When the refund program is set up, I will notify you about the details in an upcoming Scam of the day.
You should always be wary of any company that charges a significant fee merely to assist you in obtaining credit cards. You don’t need the help of third parties to whom you must pay a fee to apply for credit cards on your behalf. In particular, any company that encourages you to falsely inflate your income on credit card applications should be avoided. As for training programs to teach you how to start a business or invest in real estate, there are plenty of free or low cost materials you can get that can be quite helpful. Always research any such business coaching program before purchasing it. A simple way to research such companies is to do to Google or other search engine search with the name of the company and the word “scam” and see what comes up.
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