Beware of Work-at-Home Schemes That Promise Internet Riches

Work at home scheme promises richesIt sounds appealing, doesn't it? Set up your own Internet business, and make money from home. And you'll only have to pay $1,200 to $1,700 to learn how to do it.

Unfortunately, some offers are just to be good to be true. That's why Boise, Idaho-based Accelerated Mentoring, a company that sells Internet-based training, software and personal coaching to help consumers establish e-commerce businesses, recently entered into a settlement agreement that requires the company to change its business practices, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a statement.The settlement resolves complaints that Accelerated Mentoring, formerly known as Internet Sales Institute, made false claims about the amount of money consumers could earn from investing 10 to 15 hours a week in an online business, Wasden said. The Attorney General's Office received 17 consumer complaints about Accelerated Mentoring.

According to the agency, Accelerated Mentoring set up a telephone solicitations operation without registering with the Attorney General's Office, as required by Idaho law. The settlement agreement, which applies to future business activities of Accelerated Mentoring and its owner, Clancy Yohman, requires the company to register as a telemarketer.

In addition, Accelerated Mentoring is prohibited from telling consumers that they'll earn a specific amount of money if they buy products from the company. The company is also required to maintain a privacy policy for customer information.

Accelerated Mentoring also agreed to disclose the terms of a customer's purchase, comply with all aspects of the Idaho Telephone Solicitations Act, including the federal Do Not Call law, and answer complaints from the Attorney General's Office.

Finally, the agreement prohibits Accelerated Marketing from collecting any outstanding debts for purchases made while it wasn't registered with the attorney general. The company must also allow its customers at least three days from receipt of their written contracts to cancel their purchases.

In addition to the settlement agreement, Accelerated Mentoring paid the Attorney General's Office $10,000 in legal fees and investigative expenses.

Consumer Ally couldn't reach Accelerated Mentoring for comment. In signing the settlement, the company didn't admit any wrongdoing.

In closing, let us offer these words of advice: Before signing up for any work-at-home Internet deals, find out exactly what you'd be selling or doing, how and why shoppers would find and use your website, how the business would generate income, and what your total expenses would be.
For more information, see the Federal Trade Commission's "Starting an Internet Business: Dream Job or Pipe Dream?"
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