Beware of This Phone Scam Mentioning Amazon

Source- http://www.theworkathomewoman.com/phone-scam/

By Holly Reisem Hanna

Just the other day a reader asked me if I had heard of the Amazon Phone Scam. Having an unpublished phone number, I rarely receive any unsolicited phone calls, so I wasn’t aware of it. So, I decided to do some research and see what I could find on it.

First let me preface this post with … Amazon is a legit company that offers individuals three different ways to make money from home. First is through their affiliate program, where publishers make an advertising fee off of items that are promoted and sold on their websites. The second way in which  you can make money on Amazon is through, Amazon Mechanical Turk which is a platform where individuals complete short tasks for money. The third way you can make money from Amazon is by using Amazon’s FBA Program. Basically, Amazon acts as a fulfillment center for your business. You sell stuff, then they pack and ship it for you. They take a 30% cut of the total sales and the rest is your profit. There are no fees to take part in any of these programs, they are free to join.

Now since I have not received this phone call it’s difficult for me to say what exactly it is … and I’m unable to find the landing page for the promotion of this work at home scam. All I have to go on is testimonials from other individuals on forums and blogs. But I think this is the gist of it …

There are work at home ads circulating online, when individuals click on the ad, they are brought to a landing page that requests their name and phone number for additional information. Then the scammers call the individuals with a hyped up pitch about how much money they can make with Amazon. They then ask for your credit card number for a startup fee and this is when they get you. Amazon has nothing to do with this fraudulent opportunity, these are just crooks using Amazon’s good name to promote their scam — the same sort of thing has happened with Google — you can read about it here.

While I was unable to listen or view the promotion for this opportunity, other individuals have mentioned these companies as being affiliated with it: Affiliate Business Group (which has an F rating on the Better Business Bureau website) and Ace Marketing Group, LLC.

Below you can view the various posts and threads on the Amazon Phone Scam.

So what warning flags should you look out for when looking for work at home opportunities?

  • Vague job descriptions.
  • Lack of contact information.
  • High payouts with little or no work.
  • Poor ratings on the Better Business Bureau website.
  • Deceptive marketing and advertising practices.
  • Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships.
  • Negative reviews.
  • Too good to be true offers.
  • Having to pay a fee upfront.
  • Giving personal information over the phone, social security number, bank account info, or credit card information.

Have you received a phone call offering this scam? What else have you heard about it?

Beware: Deceptive Work at Home Opportunities (UWCCorp) on the Loose

Source- http://www.theworkathomewoman.com/deceptive-work-at-home/#more-15489

By Holly Reisem Hanna

I was doing some online research, when I saw an ad that said, “I make $486 every day. Work from home and earn $13,745 a month”. Red warning flags immediately went off in my head, as this looked like many of the other deceptive work at home opportunities that have been promoted in the past.

Just like the Easy Google Profits promotion, when I clicked on the ad, I was directed to a site that looked like an online news publication, called the Online Career Journal. The article on the site, stated how Melissa Johnson of Austin, Texas (my hometown) made $8,000 a month just by using a work at home kit that cost less than $50.

Because I’m familiar with this type of deceptive advertising, I immediately went to the bottom of the page where it stated the following:

“As an advertorial, this page receives compensation for clicks on or purchase of products featured on this site. This program is not a job but an educational opportunity that can help individuals learn how to earn money through their entrepreneurial efforts. Anyone who decides to buy any program about making money will not necessarily make money simply by purchasing the program.”

So obviously, this was not true editorial content, but indeed an advertisement for a work at home kit called, Profit Web System.

But, what is Profit Web System?

When I clicked on the Profit Web System’s link, it brought me to a landing page with Angela Bussio’s image and name on it. Not being familiar with Angela Bussio, I decided to Google her. From what I could find, she appears to be a speaker, author and life coach, owning the following businesses: Attracting Joy, Design My Destiny, and Real Stress Solutions.

While I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on her websites, I did find her Facebook Fan Page (Real Stress Solutions) of interest. Numerous individuals had left negative comments about one of her programs, Profit Master’s Academy.

I also performed a Google keyword search on “Angela Bussio + scams” and I got a lot of negative results. You can check out a few of the negative comments listed on the Ripoff Report. I decided to take my research one step further, by contacting Angela via email to see if she endorsed this program, and if she did, what exactly was it?

I never received a response back.

Basically, Profit Web Systems claims that individuals can make money by placing links for companies on various websites. They even claim, that you can make $15 per link placed. So, if you place 10 links an hour, you’ll make $150 an hour. To learn how to place these links, you need to purchase their program which is a hefty $97.

So would I ever recommend this program for individuals who want to work from home?

Absolutely not!

This type of scam has been circulating around since 2009 under various names like Easy Google Profit, Home Cash Kit, and Google Money Master.  In fact it’s become so popular, that Snopes.com wrote a scam alert about it.

So what red warning flags should you watch out for when looking for work at home opportunities?

  • Vague job descriptions
  • Lack of contact information
  • High payouts with little or no work
  • Poor ratings on the Better Business Bureau website
  • Deceptive marketing and advertising practices
  • Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships
  • Negative reviews
  • Too good to be true offers

If you’d like to see what this deceptive work at home opportunity looks like, you can check it out at the links below. I have also seen this type of opportunity being promoted with Kelly Nelson as the subject, and the product being called the Internet Biz Kit.

http://www.careerjournalonline.net/latest/workfromhome/trifu/00aoz3/us3/

http://profitwebsystem.com/pmaangela97/congratulations.aspx

http://profitwebsystem.com/pmaangela97/

Have you fallen prey to a work at home scam?

Looking for legit work at home jobs? Check out FlexJobs where every job is hand-screened and legitimate, guaranteed!

The views and opinions expressed on this article are solely those of the original author. 

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Update 03-03-2014 – I received this email from Angela Bussio:

Holly – I saw your article reviewing a product with my name on it and I want you to know that whomever is using my name is committing FRAUD. I am currently in conversations with FBI and Google legal to get many of these listing de-indexed and to stop using MY NAME for Adwords campaigns! Unbelievable! These are fraudulent reports and sites using my name – and it has been difficult if not impossible to track down whomever is doing this – but I think it is important that you are reporting a SCAM that is actually a SCAM!

I did a Promo video for a “friend” a couple of years  ago, in exchange for them offering my newsletter “Real Stress Solutions” ( which is what I reaLLY DO) as a bonus when they signed up. They ended up Branding the product with my picture making it look like it was my product. I have been in legal entanglements with them since and just received  a settlement to start to clean up my reputation – just as they were endicted by the FTC and had all their assets frozen.

Since then – other people have actually branded me on their products with my pictures and even made fake videos of another woman with my name on them! They have all been reported to the FTC and now many of the sites are gone. I would just like your help in getting the word out that these scams are actually scamming ME as well as the consumer.

If you would like to talk to me about this issue, I am happy to have that conversation. These are NOT MY PRODUCTS and you are advocating for people like me that get scammed. I would love to let your audience know what happened to me and how they need to be so careful who they partner up with – even if it is a “friend”. In fact I have even spoken to audiences to warn them about the unintended reputation consequences of bad partnerships.

I have never done anything to hurt anyone – in fact I personally have an “A” rating with the BBB – so this whole situation has been so upsetting to me. I am a therapist that just thought I could help more if I took my products and frame worked my therapies for consumption online. I have NEVER had any product that has anything to do with Home Based Business. I was very naive – now I am cleaning up a big mess.

Please call me if you need any more clarification and I would appreciate you clarifying to your audience the situation if you have the heart to do that. These are the links to my REAL business:

Thanks Holly – this is really important to me that the truth gets out there.

Angela Bussio,

CEO/Founder Attracting Joy University
Editor/Publisher Real Stress Solutions

How UWCCorp (or its’ alias “Home Cash Package”) tried to Silence a Blogger

Source- http://forexpipmaker.empowernetwork.com/blog/how-home-cash-package-tried-to-silence-me-over-my-disparaging-review

[…]

It was only when I logged into my email, I saw this message:

“Web hosting account deactivated”

How that I know Home Cash Package tried to silence me? I posted an email reply to my web host, requesting an explanation of the website and instance that resulted in my web hosting account deactivation. Here was the reply…

Click here to read the article.

Screen-shot-2012-10-03-at-AM-12_41_48

UWC’s Fraudulent Ads featured in Pop-ups

Source- http://justlocal.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/alert-international-business-times.html

Alert: International Business Times promoting scam advertising – Theresa Andrews, Melissa Johnson.

In May I mentioned the Work At Home scam advertising. Today I was opened an article on International Business Times and as usual two windows pop up. A Facebook like page which is simply annoying. I accept annoying because I’m receiving a free service. There are advertising links all through the pages which again is all part of receiving something for free. However what caught my attention was the pop-up which appears in the background.
Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Yes it is the same photo of a mother and child I recognised from the previous work-at-home scams. The trouble however is the media site International Business Times is being used as a vehicle to spread scams and that could easily trick some people. In the past I’ve seen many people have their browser hijacked by clicking on ads even in Google, but now the scammers are getting their material promoted on media sites which is a worry.

If you see an unexpected pop-up even on a legitimate site, you now need to treat them with suspicion.

The article was posted on September 02, 2013.

UWC’s “Work at Home” Scam

Source- http://electronplumber.com/dailynews7-com-and-the-home-income-system-scam/

Months after the famous FTC deadline for disclosure on affiliate web sites, the online money making scammers are back at it, this time more brazen than ever.  Now we have DailyNews7.com pushing something called the Home Income System, where for only $2.97 you too can become part of the American dream and work from home in your spare time “posting links online”.

homeincomesystem-dailynews7

Interesting use of the geo-targeting there, just saying they are from your state rather than drilling all the way down to the town where your internet service provider is located.

Since it’s almost certain they are breaking the law in the US, these guys seem to have thrown all caution to the wind and just gone for it.  The FTC has clearly set forth the rules for online disclosure and factual proof of earnings potential the AVERAGE user would have with this system, as well as disclosure of all costs associated with the system.

DailyNews7.com does none of these things. No where does it say it’s an advertisement. It has a quote from Larry King that he most certainly never made about the “Home Income System”. It has a Photoshopped cover of Newsweek as well. It even has a fake ad for Dish Network that brings you to the offer page for the Home Income Kit if you click on it.

Our old friend Kevin Hoeffer’s sister Mary is apparently been dragged into it too, with a random photo of a check for $5000 attributed to her.

Why do we think this is a scam in our opinion?  Besides the unsubstantiated income claims that are against the latest FTC rules, no where on the DailyNews7 sides does it say anything about the true cost of the “Home Income System”.

All it says is “First you will need to apply for a work from home kit. There is a small charge of $2.97 for shipping and handling, Judy explained that “this charge is made to cover shipping costs but also to separate the people that are serious about working from home.”

Which is complete bunk.  The real reason is in the hopes you won’t notice the fine print.  What is the fine print?  Click on through any of the links and you land on internetprofitsuccesssystem.com, where you can fill out your name and address and phone number (which I would NOT suggest doing) and read the small text to find:

By placing my order I agree to the Terms of Offer, which explain this order includes the above for just $2.97 shipping and handling. If you enjoy your trial, just pay a monthly membership fee of $79.86. You may cancel anytime by calling: (877) 834-4449.

Yeah, that’s right, they are going to whack your credit card for $79.86.  There is no checkbox or opt-in for this, which is also against the FTC rules.

Click on the actual Terms and Conditions link and you find this:

which is that you, the buyer, are not entitled to a refund that may or may not have been charged to you for delivery of said product, or services, or subscription. Furthermore, any free trials that may or may not be offered with this product are only free during the said allotted time of the free trial period, the free trial period is 3-days starting on the date signed up. If you have not cancelled the free bonus within the free trial period (if offered on product purchasing), you are agreeing to purchase the bonus material and/or service at a monthly reoccurring cost of up to $79.86 (seventy nine dollars and eighty six cents USD. This can be cancelled by contacting BlogMaster Profits customer service at (877) 834-4449 and stating your desire to cancel said bonus material. However, in order to not be charged any future reoccurring cost, please give ample time (2 business days) to be cancelled out of any reoccurring billing system before the next scheduled charge to your account (this does not apply during any trial period). Not canceling trial programs constitutes authorization, by you, the buyer, for any charges (as outlined) for the associated bonus service until your request to cancel has been received by our customer service staff. By not canceling the bonus program during the trial period or prior to two days before a scheduled billing cycle, you agree that any reoccurring charges billed to you will be non-refundable. You also agree that by purchasing this product, you will be given access to digital material outlined in the members area. No physical  product will be sent to your home or business address.

That’s right, no refunds.  And you have to cancel your three day trial within two days to be eligible to stop the billing.

Continue on through the site and terms and you will find NOTHING about the company’s physical address or email, just a phone number that was closed when we attempted to call it.

Now we haven’t read any specific complaints about internetprofitsuccesssystem.com, but it sure as hell looks like all the other Internet money scams out there that trick you into coughing up your credit card  thinking you are only paying shipping and handling.

How To Cancel The Home Income Kit?

Well, they do provide a phone number you can call.  HOWEVER, a number of people have suggested that calling their number is not the right thing to do.

If you call to cancel, they now have a record of you contacting them and if you later try to dispute the charge with your credit card company, they can show the record of your call to your credit card company as proof of the transaction.  Only go this route if you can’t afford to cancel the card in question or if it is a debit card which is much harder to dispute.  You’ve been internet mugged here, don’t take it lying down.  It is our opinion based on the FTC guidelines that these people are breaking the law, plain and simple.  You wouldn’t call a mugger to ask for your money back, you would go to the authorities.

Here is what we recommend:

  1. Don’t feel bad! Seems like hundreds if not thousands of people have been taken in by these sort of “negative option” offers that trick you by not clearly disclosing you are signing up for monthly charges. You were tricked, it happens to the best of us.
  2. Call/write your credit card company, dispute the charges and report the card stolen. Since this site does not meet the FTC requirements for clear disclosure for the charges you received, consider your card stolen.  This will make sure they can’t charge you any more and that they can’t sell your credit card number to anyone else. If they tricked you once already, what makes you think they won’t try to squeeze every penny out of you they can?
  3. Start ID theft monitoring right away! Click here to sign up for Experian Protect My Id monitoring. You just gave some shady website your name, address, phone number, credit card and secret 3 digit card number.  You can get Experian ID Protection for $1 for 30 days, then it’s $9.95 a month. I’d suggest signing up for AT LEAST the first month to check your credit report  and make sure no one tries to change your address or open a new card using the current cards details you gave away.

“Daily News 7” and all of Universal Web Consulting’s other fraudelent “news” sites have been taken off the internet as of 2011.

UWC “Training” a waste of time

Source- http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Universal-Web-Consulting/Phoenix-Arizona-AZ-850/Universal-Web-Consulting-Not-a-good-company-to-get-involved-with-Training-substandard-F-943951

From my own personal experience, I was originally looking for work and stupidly excepted the promises of this company, they stated that they would get me earning money. “That on hindsight was the wrong thing to believe” after a period of working on this website they sold me which incidentally was full of banners from affiliate links from Amazon, Sony etc being a complete newbie to the web I knew no better, but quickly learned this was not going to work. I phoned the sales rep who assured me that all I had to do was follow the training in the back office this I did and it got me nowhere so I phoned again with the sole intention of stopping the subscription but gullible me listened to them.

The next thing they threw at me was if I expected to start earning any money I would be advised to take there one to one training package which would put me on the right road and I would then start to see commissions the one on one training consisted of one session 15 minutes long per month and the excuse I received was they had a shortage of trainers and lots of people to train I queried them and stated that that was not my problem as I had paid them good money on the promises they made and requested a refund.

An hour later I had someone on the end of the phone stating that he was one of the upper management offering me a renewal on my domain name free of charge and he would stop the monthly payments until I began earning which they would ensure happens.

I went along with that but on thinking about it if they were doing this to everyone else the amount of money they were getting under I deem as false pretences, then this would not be a short fall to them.

I haven’t heard anything from them since and the very last time I spoke to them they said they had no recourse in refunding me because of what they had given me. that to me was just a way of pacifying me by doing what they did they where actually admitting liability.

I since have read of other people getting short changed by them, so I would suggest that anyone thinking of going with this company to think again and leave them well alone!

Because I am UK based I can’t use the BBB as their form does not accept English post codes, Telephone numbers, or state so other than venting my frustrations out here I am stuck! And they must have laughed all the way to the bank. some other smuck ripped off.  

*The complainant posts a further statement to his original report-

As I stated in the original report I have tried to get my money back from this company and they have responded negatively, after spending money I did not really have and having to borrow most of it to the tune of nearly a $1000 on the product web hosting, domain name, website, and rubbish training that they had the audacity to charge for.

I being green and believing them to be a genuine company who stated that they would not risk their companies reputation by not giving me a good service and guidance in making a success of the so called business they had sold me into They are very good at taking your money and leaving you to your own devices.

Their training consisted of telling you to search the internet for other peoples reports on marketing, showing sites that they claim where making good money that actually had broken links to the products that where supposed to be making the sales. stating that the website I had created was excellent by buttering me up this way they must have thought I would leave them alone, if they had only given some constructive criticism and proper guidance, proper training and a more honest approach not B.S their reputation would not get a kicking as it has, dishonesty seems to be their rule.

I am only stating the above to make others aware.

I really would like to get My money refunded but not being a US citizen I am finding it really difficult to find an organisation that would have the knowledge and representation to approach them on my behalf, the better business bureau are unreachable unless you reside in the United states and I now feel that the company has had my money B.S’d me on what they had given me.