Business coaches are people who advise and guide business owners in the operating and growing their businesses. They can be quite helpful, particularly to entrepreneurs. However, scammers posing as business coaches take advantage of trusting business owners by selling worthless services to their unwary victims. I have reported on this scam numerous times in the past, but it is timely again with the FTC’s settlement of charges against the operators of Coaching Department and Apply Knowledge who scammed millions of dollars from consumers by falsely promising their victims that they could easily earn thousands of dollars each month if they bought the business coaching services offered. The truth is that the people who bought the business coaching services from Coaching Department and Apply Knowledge lost thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has previously sent two rounds of refunds to victims of the scam in October of 2019 and June of 2020 at which times I informed you of the refunds here in Scamicide. Now the FTC is sending out another round of refunds bringing the amount being returned to victims to 48% of their losses.
If you were a victim of this scam, you may be eligible for a refund. For more information about this refund program, click on the FTC Scam Refunds tab in the middle of the first page of http://www.scamicide.com. There are no fees involved with receiving a refund through this program. Anyone contacting you about this refund program who demands a fee or payment of any kind is a scammer.
Before hiring the services of a business coach, you may want to find out what helpful advice you can get for free through government agencies such as the Small Business Administration. http://www.sba.gov/starting-managing-business
If you do decide to hire a business coach, you should find out if there are any complaints filed against him or her. An easy way to do this is to just do a search engine search in which you look up the person’s name with the words “scam” or “complaint” and see what comes up. Also, be wary of paying up front for the services of business coaches before they provide any services.
Last year the FTC refunded more than 483 million dollars to scam victims, however the U.S. Supreme Court unfortunately ruled this year that the FTC does not have the authority to make such refunds from money collected by the FTC from scammers. The FTC has asked Congress to restore the FTC’s ability to get money from scammers and return it to scam victims. Fortunately, there is pending legislation, H.R. 2668 which would return that authority to the FTC. I urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and the Senate and tell them to vote in favor of this legislation. Here is a link you can use to contact your representative in Congress. https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative And here is a link you can use to contact your senator. https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm
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.” Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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