Consumer Smart: Work at Home Scams

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - Alan Bligh with the BBB joins John Thomas on 3 News First Edition to talk about work at home scams.

On March 1, new amendments to the FTC's Business Opportunity Rule went into effect. The changes implement new disclosures that work-at-home businesses must provide to consumers to help consumers make informed decisions.

There are five key items work-at-home businesses must now disclose using the FTC approved disclosure form:

* The name, business address, and telephone number.

* The basis for any earning claims. 

* Whether the company has been involved in certain legal actions. 

* Whether the company has a cancellation or refund policy. 

* A list of people who bought this business opportunity within the previous three years. 

In the past 36 months, more than 10,000 complaints have been filed with BBB's against ‘work at home' companies..

Scam of the Week

Bligh also talks about the scam of the week, dealing with Timeshare con artists.

The Better Business Bureau received more than 2,600 complaints nationally about timeshare companies last year. Many allege that companies collected money for fees or other charges and then disappeared. One Corpus Christi resident complained to BBB after wiring more than $10,000 to a Dallas company promising to sell him a timeshare in Mexico. The company came back and asked for more money to cover the annual property taxes.

Now that people are more aware of scams like this, schemers have started targeting new victims: those that own timeshares owners and want to sell them. So if you want to buy or sell a time share-be careful and investigate.


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