'Narc That Car' could translate into 'lose your money,' BBB warns

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Little work for big pay is usually a sign of trouble. Some people found that out the hard way when they signed up to work for Dallas-based Crowd Sourcing International, which promises participants they can earn money by collecting auto license plate numbers and the cars' locations.

The business venture, also known as "Narc That Car," could actually be a pyramid scheme, warns the Better Business Bureau serving Dallas and Northeast Texas.Here's how it works: independent consultants are recruited and required to pay a $100 sign-up fee and a monthly $5 processing fee for commission payments. They're also offered a web site for $24.95. All with the idea of earning $10,000 or more a month.

Participants can earn up to about $20 a month for jotting down as many as 10 license plates and then entering them into a database, which can be accessed by clients. The independent consultants can also earn commissions by finding clients, such as auto loan companies, to pay for the license plate sightings. The idea is that loan companies will then use the information to track down vehicles belonging to owners who have have defaulted on their loans.

The BBB asked CSI for a list of clients, but so far the company has only provided one name. A spokeswoman for the BBB in Dallas, Jeannette Kopko, told Consumer Ally that she couldn't go into specifics about the identity of the client. But she said the BBB is concerned about whether the client is actually independent or connected to CSI.

"What is the true relationship and what is the true flow of funds?" Kopko asked.

The BBB began looking into CSI in January. Since then, BBB has received more than 28,000 requests for the company's BBB Reliability Report. The company has an "F" rating.

On its web site, the company disputes the BBB rating. Consumer Ally left a message on the company's voicemail system but hasn't heard back. The company is formerly known as Narc Technologies.

The complaints the BBB has received are from independent consultants who say they weren't paid their commissions. Others say their accounts are being charged every month even though they're no longer working as independent consultants. Many have also had trouble contacting the company.

The BBB says CSI has answered some complaints telling participants that they will receive a refund or that their account will be adjusted.

To date, 21 complaints against the business have been filed with the BBB. Two complaints are unresolved and five complaints are classified as serious.

Kopko said the complaints have come from around the country, including Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Fox TV affiliate aired a news story about the company that raises questions about its business practices.

The Texas Attorney General's web site has warned people who get involved in a pyramid scheme that they may make money in the beginning, but the scheme eventually collapses.

To file a complaint with the BBB, go to www.bbb.org or you can file one with the Texas Attorney General at www.oag.state.tx.us.
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